Recoil Themes

James Thompson
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Using a mystery and crime format, Thompson manages to explore themes unusual to that genre. Ever vigilant in his negative attitude toward those who would waste their good fortune by trying to cheat others, the author creates an opportunistic group of characters who use one another in the most unscrupulous ways. The one character labeled a "criminal" by the justice system is the only one who resists temptation. However, judging from the harsh criticism of the state's prison, named Sandstone in the novel, Thompson resists suggesting that Cosgrove's character has been reformed due to incarceration. Instead, he emphasizes the fact that Cosgrove's crime was the mistake of misguided youth, and he gives credit, through multiple literary references, to literature for its mindexpanding effect upon Cosgrove.

Thompson shows that naivety does not equal ignorance. Cosgrove remains the only character whose motives are not questionable.

The focus upon ignorance in the...

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This section contains 264 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Recoil Study Guide
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