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Referring To The Prologue Characterize Leo Old And Young In The Go Between

1336 words - 5 pages

Referring to the prologue characterize Leo old and young The prologue to "˜The Go-between' tells us a lot about the protagonist Leo's character both in his younger days at school when he was around 13 years old and how he is at present when reminiscing at around 64 years of age.Leo is looking in a box that contained many items from his school days; he then comes across the diary that contains a multitude of memories. He looks at it but it "˜refused to disclose its identity'. It is as if there are some memories that were forgotten because he blocked them out. Leo examines but "˜does not want to touch it'.Although he tells himself this is because he wanted to challenge his memory we soon realize that it is because he is afraid of what the diary and what it contains. The diary had an "˜enervating power, and spoke its message of disappointment and defeat.' The diary has a negative energy and will remind him of some painful memories of the past.Leo's behaviour towards the diary shows us that the current (older) Leo is a man dogged and burdened by his past, his life has been blighted due to events in the diary. We also see that most of his acts in his life "˜were born of will, not inclination'. He has lived the life in a particular way because he felt he had to rather than he wanted to, he has not the freedom and the full life he wanted.Leo starts to remember what the diary used to represent as he looks inside the first few pages. We start to learn about the character of the young Leo and the sentiments he was experiencing in his period of adolescence.It was the year 1900, the first year of the century and he had felt it "˜winged with hope' and the very signs of the zodiac represented "˜a plentitude of life'. At the time they represented a magical, exciting power and a "˜tingling sense of coming fruition.' The young Leo was full of optimism at the start of the century. Then we are reminded of the current Leo's feelings, how the magic of those symbols were "˜no longer potent' for him. He has lost that optimism due to the events earlier in his life.The young Leo was not looking at the negative side of life at all; this is reflected in the way he described the signs of zodiac. Even a scorpion carried its "˜terrible pincers with a gay, heraldic air'. The year 1900 for him had an almost "˜mystical appeal' "" it was the dawn of a "˜Golden Age'.Leo displayed a very creative and active imagination "" he envisaged vividly the various characters in the zodiac and what life could be like in the new century.The young Leo was at the period of adolescence when he was beginning to become more self-aware and delve into life's mysteries. He looked up to the symbol of the Archer as he represented strength and sturdiness and Leo wanted to think of himself "˜as a man'.There are hints that the young Leo is also starting to experience sexual feelings towards women. This is displayed with his...

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