The Tower Pig

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What happens when in spite of all odds, foe becomes friend? What happens, when an infinite and unending chasm between individuals is filled, and a void of mistrust, hatred and prejudice is replaced with more noble values, such as understanding and a sense of mutual respect? These are among the themes in the American short story, "The Tower Pig." The story is set behind, and outside, the walls of the Thomaston Penitentiary in present day America. The story essentially revolves around a young man who suffers the hardships of imprisonment in an American correctional facility. The protagonist is throughout the tale addressed only by his surname, Caine. Caine expresses incomprehensible anger he feels for one of the wardens, an outcast despised by colleagues and inmates alike, and who is commonly known as "The Tower Pig" by all the prisoners at the facility. "Pain, joy, worry, are shielded away until the cell doors slam and we're alone in our solitude. For ten days in the hole, I had nothing to do but hate Strazinsky, the Tower Pig, for putting me there, and to mourn my grandmother, finally to sick to visit." When we are first introduced to Caine, he has just come out of "The Hole." The Hole is presumably a slang expression for a non-corporal punishment, which implies the use of isolation for the involved offender. This sort of punishment is usually deployed as a reaction to a disciplinary offense; this is also the case with Caine. Caine put in the hole because of a verbal fight with Strazinsky. While Caine undoubtedly finds Strazinsky to be responsible for his punishment, it seems, looking back in retrospective, that he is fully aware that he himself was to blame; yet all Caine's inner turmoil and anger is channelled into his hate for Strazinsky, and the fury towards his arch-enemy continues to blaze. Imprisonment tends to have a debilitating effect on both mind and body alike. Therefore in order to counter a mental breaking, one must deploy facades, facades that...
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