L. P. Hartley's The Go-Between

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Abu Kamat (37966132) Flight and Fall- Icarus and Leo The Greek myths have been an inspiration to countless art forms in the modern era. Several artists and authors have incorporated and or adapted elements of these myths and characters into their own work. A prime example of this can be found in L.P Hartley’s classic, The Go Between as he plays of the legend of Icarus; the son of Daedalus who dared to fly too near the sun on wings of feathers and wax. To those who have studied the legend it is clear that Icarus’s character presents many flaws: a desire to break free from boundaries, naivety, hubris (extreme pride or self-confidence), and blind passion. In this essay I will analyze various symbols and aspects of setting within The Go-Between, and demonstrate how the novel mirrors elements of the Icarus myth and more importantly how these character traits of Icarus are embodied by the protagonist Leo. The Go-Between is depicts the experiences of a poor boy named Leo when he is invited to stay at his wealthy friends estate over the summer. When his friend gets sick, Leo is left to his own devices and establishes unique…show more content…
In his early years he believed himself to have the ability to bring misfortune upon and control his enemies through the power of his invented curses. “After that I was quite a hero...I became a recognized authority [in] black magic” (Hartley, 17). Leo’s naivety in his school life is mirrored by Icarus’s foolish belief that he possesses the ability to fly towards the sun. Just like Leo, Icarus perceives that he is more powerful than he truly is and believes he can fly high towards the sun like majestic white birds flying outside his prison window. L.P Hartley thus adapts the naïve and vain character traits of Icarus into that of Leo for both characters mistakenly believe they have power beyond their

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