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"Strange Objects" Binaries Essay

942 words - 4 pages

Published in the 1990's, the book 'Strange Objects' by Gary Crew is an interesting and mind bending book, that will force the reader to guess and 'play detective' over many areas, such as the true identity of Steven Messenger. Crew practically forces readers to do so avidly through his use of many binaries throughout the book. This use of binaries eases the reader to go along with certain points of view set up by Crew. Binaries like sane and insane, fantasy and reality and finally good and evil are three of the most common examples and are the most influential. Analysing these three binaries further, it is clear to see they were intended to coax the reader down specific paths and viewpoints ...view middle of the document...

This brings the readers to the binary of good and evil. This binary is the most subtle in the book, and possibly switches perspective even more than sane and insane. Crew uses the binary of good and evil to persuade the readers into thinking where certain characters are in alignment, and in turn, makes the reader tend to agree with the character who is portrayed as ‘good’. Once again, in the instance of the relations with Steven and Jan and Kratzman and Wouter, we see their similarities in their personalities and where they sit. Pelgrom, by most readers, would have started to be portrayed as 'evil' in the scene where the dog, Lucky, was eaten. Throughout both the Messenger files and in the journals, Steven and Jan both become increasingly more volatile and mean causing them to be seen as more evil. Because there are other characters that seem to sit on the other side of the binary, good, like Nigel, Charlie, Wouter and Dr. Hope, it provides a comparison. The use of the good and evil binary is very clever, and by the end readers seem to have a clear view of who is 'evil' and who is 'good', yet in the last few chapters, Crew reveals certain information, like the interview*, that perhaps that, because of these binaries, we led in an odd direction. It is possible that both the good and evil binaries were contained in one person all along. The binary leads the readers to believe that good and evil are very separate and set.

Lastly, the third binary of fantasy and reality, which is, again, used repeatedly and causes the reader to examine and follow a certain path. This binary affects every character, especially Steven and his credibility. The surreal way that Crew writes the scenes in which...

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