Patricia Highsmith's 'Strangers On A Train'

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Many texts are popular within our culture for many different reasons. Sometimes the popularity of the work is not known until long after the author has lived, but other times the work becomes instantly admired. Patricia Highsmith, a crime novel author of the late 1900s achieved success with many novels, and her crime series of Tom Ripley. One of Patricia Highsmith’s more popular novels which started her Tom Ripley series, “The Talented Mr. Ripley” was extremely popular during its time of publication, and continues to remain popular to this day. The novel was originally published in 1955, just a few short years after Highsmith’s claim to fame “Strangers on a Train” which Alfred Hitchcock directed a film adaptation released in 1951 (Cleveland…show more content…
Once Tom murders Dickie, the reader does not necessarily want him to be caught by the police. Instead, readers tend to feel as though they are cheering Tom on toward success. Tom evades the police, is confronted face to face with many of Dickie’s friends, yet he maintains an alibi which is believable and manages to keep his horrific deeds a secret to all. Even Dickie’s own father is fooled by the “Talented Mr. Ripley”. Patricia Highsmith creates a character which is so mysterious, and effectively evades suspicion from police, and Dickie’s friends, family and acquaintances. This aspect of the novel allows it to be popular, and will be a factor in the continuing popularity of the novel because it is easy for the reader to empathize with Tom. The reader almost feels as if they too could pull off the stunts Tom achieves, only because he seems to do them so effortlessly. Tom adopts Dickie’s look, his dialect, even his signature and mannerisms with ease, and makes those around him believe that he is in fact, Dickie Greenleaf. The novel, “The Talented Mr. Ripley” will remain popular because of the ability of the novel to enthrall readers, and feel as though they could be Tom

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