Brighton Rock and the Third Man

Topics: The Third Man, Vienna, Ferris wheel Pages: 4 (1366 words) Published: September 23, 2006
"In what ways do ‘Brighton Rock' and ‘The Third Man' represent the power or powerlessness of individuals?"

The "Third Man" and "Brighton Rock" are texts that share similar characteristics in the sense that there are three central characters in both storylines. The characters can also be matched between the texts. Pinkie Brown is similar to Harry Lime, Holly Martins is similar to Ida Arnold and Rose is similar to Anna. The relationships between the characters are also similar. The characters of Pinkie/Harry are the ‘villains' in their separate stories. The characters of Ida/Holly play the ‘detective' roles and Rose/Anna complete the triangle as the love interests for the villains. Each individual is represented as both powerful and powerless during his or her story.

Brighton Rock, as a book, has literary techniques to portray power or powerlessness, rather than visual techniques such as those in The Third Man. Graham Greene emphasizes powerlessness by building up weaknesses for the characters throughout the book. We learn that Pinkie dislikes sex and alcohol at an early stage of the novel, and when situations arise surrounding either of these themes, we know that Pinkie is powerless because of his lack of experience with sex or alcohol. In this way, Pinkie's powerlessness is represented.

Despite Pinkie's powerlessness in sex or alcohol related situations, he is relatively intimidating in all other circumstances. His strength is fear; he scares people into doing what he wants. His violent disposition makes him a powerful figure. He becomes the leader of his gang when Kite is murdered, he orders around men that are three times his age and is generally feared and respected. Power is represented when Pinkie threatens people; his history of murderous nature ensures that he gets his way.

Ida is powerful in the sense that she doesn't give up on her mission to find out what happened to Hale. She uses her sex appeal to gain as much information as she can. She...
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