Strangers on a Train Themes

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The natural state of man has been the subject of philosophers and thinkers for centuries. While some believe the natural state of man is peace, others believe it is war and violence. Patricia Highsmith's novel "Strangers on a Train" has commentary to add to the debate on human nature.

The character of Bruno, which is comprised of base desires and instincts, is presented as evil, and lends evidence to the argument that the natural state of man is violent in composition. Bruno attempts to convince Guy that anyone can commit a murder, that no man is incapable of it. The reader can glean from Bruno that stability and society are only constructs. Bruno's own heartless act of murdering Miriam, and having no remorse about the act, lends more evidence to the violent nature of man.

Yet, Bruno's character contrasts with Guy's character. Guy's character seems to dismantle...

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This section contains 720 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Strangers on a Train Study Guide
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