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The Narrator's Crime

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message 1: by Ms. Latham (last edited Jun 27, 2017 04:06PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ms. Latham I appreciate Denfield leaving this part of the story untold, be it possibly for the reader to decide what they will or possibly for it not to be reflected on at all. I understand that the greater focus was to humanize the narrator despite the acts committed to land him where he ended up. It made me curious, though, as to how others might fill in this blank, if at all.

As the narrator himself says, There are some horrors too deep to contemplate. There are some acts that defy redemption or rage. We all just want to close our eyes to them and forget.

What do you think the narrator did to Donald, that was so horrible and inhumane, no one could bear to utter it?


Denny My assumption was that the narrator either raped and murdered his child victim or tortured and maimed him, possibly mutilated severely or even dismembered him, before murdering him. Maybe all the above.

The narrator, Arden, clearly suffers from some sort of antisocial personality disorder, most likely sociopathy, which makes him a highly unreliable narrator. Coupled with the fact that Arden has no problem narrating the horrendous acts perpetrated upon York or committed by any number of other characters in the book, including his own while imprisoned, it's possible that, relatively speaking, the act that landed him in prison may not have been as deeply horrible as he leads us to believe.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you recognized that Denfeld's greater focus was to humanize Arden despite his criminal actions, and revealing the specifics of what he did to a minor, presumably innocent, victim would have made that goal unattainable for most readers.


Ms. Latham Denny wrote: "My assumption was that the narrator either raped and murdered his child victim or tortured and maimed him, possibly mutilated severely or even dismembered him, before murdering him. Maybe all the ..."

You bring up several great points. I also wondered if the narrator might have been leading us to believe the crime he committed was a lot worse than either York's or Striker's purely through his own guilt, when, in reality, it would have been no worse, no better. That what he believed others to be saying of him was just that—what he believed in his head.


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