by Emily Giroux  
April 2013

Throughout Patricia Highsmith’s novel Strangers on a Train, the reader is exposed to the thoughts and desires of the two main characters of the story as they plan, carry out, and face the fallout of committing two murders. As the story progresses, the reader finds himself or herself at the mercy of the third person narrator. The narrator switches between the different focalized points of view of Guy and Bruno. The entanglement of the narrator’s point of view with the differentiating perceptions of Guy and Bruno in Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train urges the reader to sympathize with two murderers. Initially, Highsmith uses the narrator’s perception to manifest sympathy for Guy Haines, the apparent protagonist, and resentment towards Charles Anthony Bruno, the apparent antagonist. Upon the climax of the novel, the point of view of the narrator quickly alternates between Guy and Bruno. Not only does this complicate the characters’ roles as protagonist and antagonist, but it also creates the context for the reader to relate and get inside the conscience of two murderers In Strangers on a Train, the author uses internal focalization to evoke sympathy from the reader, showing the reader’s own unexpected criminal duality. Having created morally ambiguous characters, Highsmith has challenged her readers to defy the common conceptions of everyday social norms. She turns empathy and understanding into sympathy and sentimentality for Guy Haines and Anthony Bruno.

In his essay Windows of Focalization: Deconstructing and Reconstructing a Narratological Concept, Manfred Jahn explores the framework of focalization, a concept originally created by Gerard Genette. One way in which Jahn explains this is through a “Model of Vision” (figure 1). Highsmith uses the narratological technique of internal focalization to get inside the heads of Guy and Bruno. “Theory addresses the options and ranges of orientational restrictions of narrative presentations” (Jahn 241).

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The inference made by this diagram is that what is being perceived comes from a fixed focal point. These focal points each have their own field of vision. Within a field of vision is an “area in focus”(Figure 1). In terms of the novel, Guy and Bruno serve as the two main focal points in Strangers on a Train. Their perceptions and accounts of events represent the field of vision given to the reader, and the area of focus here would be the intuitive assessments of the murders that Guy and Bruno commit. Because the reader is ‘seeing’ through two different focuses, the more specific term for the technique Highsmith is using here is internal focalization. According to Jahn, internal focalization is defined as “(vision within): presentation of events restricted to the point of view of one or more focal characters”(244).

It requires more than an understanding of focalization to comprehend the effect that this style has on the reader. Peer F. Bundgaard wrote about this in his essay Means of Meaning Making in Literary Art: Focalization, Mode of Narration, and Granularity. Bundgaard focuses on focalization as well as other narratological concepts and how they are used to evoke or make meaning of a text. In regards to focalization, Bundgaard says, “By focalization…[Meaning making] can be embedded within a sentient being who does not only perceive, but also explicitly evaluates, judges, thinks, etc.”(66). This is how he is defining what makes a character capable of being a focalized figure. He is also pointing out how the material the reader receives from the perceptions of Guy and Bruno can be used to create meaning. Guy and Bruno both fall under Bundgaard’s qualifications. As Guy and Bruno are evaluating, judging, and thinking the reader is doing the same. While the characters of the novel are working within the content of the novel, the reader is working outside of the novel, taking in the characters’ evaluations, judgments, and thoughts within the story’s fictional world.

In order for a reader to rightly judge a character, he or she must understand the character that he or she is focusing on, and this has effects on the reader. In Why Do We Care about Literary Characters, Blakely Vermeule explores the concept of fictional character as well as how and why readers connect to characters the way that they do. At the end of her preface Vermeule states, “[Literary narratives] harvest not the bright leaves but the dark roots of our desire for social information, often delving deeper than any other medium. They swim in the deep end. And this gives them special claims on us. Or so I will argue” (xiv). Focalization is certain to act as a catalyst to further investment in these characters. Vermeule supports her assertion that characters have a special hold on their audience with the claim, “readers typically adapt their point of view to one or another of a story’s characters, usually the protagonist, and make their way through the narrative by tracking that character’s actions” (41). Early on the reader is exposed to the relatable aspect of Guy Haines. He is no longer a stranger on a train, but a character that the reader can understand, trust, and identify with.

By allowing oneself to walk in the shoes of a character, one is expressing empathy. Empathy allows the reader to work to gain a full understanding of the character(s) at hand. Suzanne Keen says, “Character identification often invites empathy, even when the fictional character and reader differ from each other in all sorts of practical and obvious ways, but empathy for fictional characters appears to require only minimal elements of identity, situation, and feeling, not necessarily complex or realistic characterization” (xii). Keen considers this theory and others like it in her book Empathy and the Novel. In her statement above, Keen is addressing the notion that a character doesn’t need to be similar or comparable to the reader in order for the reader to empathize with that character. While Guy is presented to the reader as the typical run of the mill kind of guy, Bruno is presented in a different light. He is not necessarily what most people would label as a relatable character. He has more negative traits than Guy and is portrayed as a maniacal momma’s boy obsessed with murder; this is not the kind of character most readers are eager to embrace. However, Keen says, “empathetic responses to fictional characters and situations occur more readily for negative emotions, whether or not a match in details of experience exists” (xii). According to Keen, Bruno’s characteristics make him no less eligible for the reader’s empathy; in fact, they make him the better candidate. His flaws, vices, and obsessions are what allow the reader to get inside Bruno’s consciousness and gain understanding. One must ask, however, does the justification of the reader’s empathy mean that their sympathy for Bruno is just as acceptable? Wayne C. Booth has some thoughts on such a matter.

In The Rhetoric of Fiction, Booth discusses the art of communication with readers, the idea of sympathy and how it should or should not be applied to certain characters in a work of fiction. He says, “If an author wants intense sympathy for characters who do not have strong virtues to recommend them, then psychic vividness of prolonged and deep inside views will help him” (377-78). If this idea is applied to the situation of Bruno as an immoral character, then it can be inferred that Booth believes that the internal focalization used by Highsmith is a necessary tool in order to evoke sympathy for this character. By making this statement regarding “intense sympathy”, Booth is acknowledging that it is possible for characters with a weaker moral compass to gain sympathy from readers. But Booth will only take this idea so far. He freely admits that sympathy for an immoral character is possible. The question is, just because it is possible, is it acceptable to take this principle to its limits?

How far is it okay for authors to go when it comes to the detail and emphasis they put on characters that commit acts of the greatest evils known to man? Monsters like Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster, killers such as Dexter Morgan and Hannibal Lecter, and mentally unstable Mr. Hyde and Randal McMurphy types are all evidence of criminal success in the realm of fiction. According to Booth, it is possible for writers to create characters that fall under this category and still hold readers’ sympathy. In addition to his previous statement regarding this aptness for sympathy, he also says, “inside views can build sympathy even for the most vicious character. When properly used, this effect can be of immeasurable value in forcing us to see the human worth of a character whose actions…we would deplore” (378). This is not the only point that Booth makes on this type of circumstance. He also discusses the limits of such a technique and how far an author should go with these criminal characters, morally speaking. The point that Booth brings up regarding the matter of immoral characters and how far an author should go is expressed through his experience with Allain Robbe-Grillet’s novel, The Voyeur.

 

[The book] does, indeed, lead us to experience intensely the sensations and emotions of a homicidal maniac. But is this really what we go to literature for? Quite aside from the question of how such a book might affect readers who already have homicidal tendencies, is there no limit to what we will praise, provided it is done with skill? (384)

 

Booth is asking his readers where the line should be drawn. When is it not morally acceptable for writers to deal out these characters that are nefarious wrongdoers? The answer is sure to come. However, at this point it is time to take a deep look at how all the theories mentioned so far can be applied to Guy and Bruno in Patricia Highsmith’s literary work Strangers on a Train.

Highsmith uses the technique of internal focalization to build up empathy for her main characters. From details such as Bruno’s motives and Guy’s resistance, the reader gains understanding about why they do the things they do.  By gaining this understanding, the reader is able to rationalize Guy and Bruno’s actions and sympathize with them. Their criminal behavior now becomes acceptable and even encouraged. This effect is a product of the internal focalization that brings characters’ reasoning to the foreground of the reader’s attention. The reader now has his or her own thoughts along with the characters’, bringing a dual perspective to the big picture.

The first chapter of Strangers on a Train opens with a third-person omniscient point of view of Guy Haines as he sits on a train headed for his hometown of Metcalf. He is physically described as “[wearing] flannel trousers that needed pressing, a dark jacket that slacked over his slight body and showed faintly purple where the light struck it, and a tomato-colored woolen tie, carelessly knotted” (10). In pursuit of a divorce from his estranged wife, Guy, the reader learns, is a struggling architect with no spare money to buy a divorce. All of these details portray a middle-class guy in a worn suit working hard to earn a living, and who has had failed confrontations with love. Highsmith’s decision to introduce the story with a focalization on Guy urges the reader to identify with him as his or her protagonist.

The way in which the reader is introduced to Guy Haines can also be applied to the way in which the reader is introduced to Charles Anthony Bruno. When Guy first comes across Bruno he describes him as possibly drunk and with a zit in the middle of his forehead.  He is, “neither young nor old, neither intelligent nor entirely stupid”(11). While this may not give the initial suggestion that Bruno must be the story’s antagonist, the thoughts that Guy has regarding Bruno lead the reader to identify him as a bit of a joke; a lesser character than our current protagonist. Even further, the reader gets their first true impression of Bruno through Guy’s thoughts. Because Guy was introduced as the protagonist, the reader is prone to believe what he believes. When Guy thinks, “He seemed only a voice and a spirit now, the spirit of evil. All he despised, Guy thought, Bruno represented. All the things he would not want to be, Bruno was, or would become”(33-34). Guy is the lens through which the reader is looking at Bruno and Bruno’s first impression is the area of focus within the reader’s field of vision. Guy feels negatively about Bruno. Bruno is not just everything Guy despises; he is everything the reader despises. The reader has only experienced Guy’s perceptions, therefore, Guy’s perception is the only thing the reader trusts and relates to. Audiences now perceive Bruno as the anti-Guy. Bruno is the antagonist.

In the first five chapters of Strangers on a Train, there is a focalization through Guy’s perception of events. However, in the sixth chapter the narrator becomes focalized from Bruno’s point of perception. During this brief chapter the reader becomes aware of Bruno’s thoughts towards Guy. He says, “Not that Guy was the kind of fellow to plan a murder with, but he liked him, as a person. Guy was somebody worth knowing” (Highsmith 45). The other information the reader receives in this chapter is a hint of Bruno’s personality. He is presented in a rather vain light when he comments on the one thing wrong with the hotel and when he calls the telephone operator a “lunk” for not knowing where Great Neck was. By this point, it is clear to the reader that Guy is the character the author is gearing up for the role of ‘good guy’. The structure in which the shift in focalization is presented in the novel also plays a significant role in how the reader perceives Guy and Bruno. The chapters that exhibit the focalization of Bruno’s perceptions are of particular importance.

Bruno’s point of view is experienced through internal focalization in 13 chapters. Twice within the Bruno focalized chapters they fell in a sequence of 3 back-to-back chapters. The first of these sequences takes place during chapters 10, 11, and 12. These sequences explain Bruno’s underlying motives and thought process for deciding to go through with his end of the scheme by killing Miriam. This is best captured by the following moment:

 

And last night he had decided yes. He had been thinking really since Saturday when he had talked to Guy, and here it was Saturday again, and it was tomorrow or never…He was sick of the question, could he do it. How long had the question been with him? Longer than he could remember. He felt like he could do it. Something kept telling him that the time, the circumstances, the cause would never be better. A pure murder, without personal Motives! (60)

 

Having highlighted the fact that Bruno is obsessed with his idea for the perfect “pure murder,” it is evident that Highsmith is using the narrator’s point of view to cause discontent for the reader in regards to Bruno’s character. No reader with a conscience is going to want to connect with a man with a determined desire for the perfect ‘pure’ murder. Being exposed to such desires should leave a reader uncomfortable and distressed. Bruno also goes over thoughts that suggest Guy isn’t going to go through with his end of the murder scheme and that if this is the case, his murder of Miriam will only help him solidify the deal the next time around. These thoughts take all ideas of murder away from Guy and place them solely upon Bruno’s shoulders, reinforcing the previous notions of the first chapter.

While an insight such as this may not be shedding a positive light on Bruno as a likable character, it does serve a critical purpose. In his book Anatomy of a Murder, Carl D. Malmgren explores a theory that could lead to the exposure of Highsmith’s master plan. Malgren says, “Readers begin to understand Charly, even as they are repulsed by him. Their reaction, in fact, is not that different from Guy’s, a fact which helps to reinforce their sympathy for and identification with Guy” (143). Highsmith is strengthening the neutralization of the good guy and bad guy roles of Guy and Bruno. At this point the reader is identifying with Guy and rejecting his or her sympathetic tendencies towards Bruno as the reader obtains understanding for who he truly is.

Chapter 11 continues with the similar build up of chapter 10, bringing the audience deeper into Bruno’s psyche. In chapter 12, Bruno murders Miriam, and aside from the physical description the reader gets insight regarding Bruno’s afterthoughts. These insights consist of moments such as, “He was thinking! He felt Great! It was done” (81), “A girl’s scream made it final. A beautiful scream, Bruno thought with a queer, serene admiration”(82), and “Everything was perfect and he felt terribly happy” (84). All of these thoughts highlight moments in which Bruno is feeding off of his murder of Miriam. The joy that Bruno feels after killing another person shows the reader his true colors. Unlike before, the reader is no longer seeing Bruno through Guy’s perspective, but through his own. Later on in the novel the reader is going to gather sympathy for this character, this murderer.

In the next sequence of chapters where the narrator focalizes from Bruno’s perspective, 25, 26, and 27, it is after Guy has killed Bruno’s father. Bruno is experiencing heat from Gerard, as the investigator tries to solve Sam Bruno’s murder. These three chapters allow the reader to experience Bruno under pressure. After being questioned by Gerard in chapter 25, Bruno says, “Who else was like them? Who else was their equal? He longed for Guy to be with him now. He would clasp Guy’s hand, and to hell with the rest of the world! Their fears were unparalleled!” (167). These thoughts give the notion of Guy, Bruno, and the reader versus the world even though two out of the three are definitely murderers. He also says, “He and Guy were not leaden-eyed. He and Guy would not die like sheep now. He and Guy would reap” (168). The repetition here of “He and Guy” reverberates this notion of unity.  This notion allows the reader to apply the positive feelings received from the focalization of Guy to the perceptions the reader obtains from the focalization of Bruno.

We also see Bruno at a split second of vulnerability after his father is killed. After passing his father’s bedroom Bruno thinks to himself, “The open door to his father’s room gave him a funny feeling, as if he were just realizing his father were dead. It was the door’s hanging open that made him feel it, he thought, like a shirttail hanging out, like a guard let down, that never would have been if the Captain were alive” (171). The reader feels bad for Bruno in this split second of vulnerability. The reader is given a look at his human side, rather than his murder obsessed self that the reader is used to. This is a point where sympathy from the reader is at a high point in the novel.

In chapter 27 it is unclear if guilt is getting to Bruno, or whether it is simply the anxiety of getting caught by Gerard that is affecting him, but Bruno is losing his grip on reality: “He braced himself against the bathroom door. It was getting him at both ends now, the shakes, early and late, waking him earlier and earlier, and he had to take more and more at night to get to sleep” (177). Bruno is falling apart. Rather than rooting for his downfall, the reader may find himself or herself hoping for his escape, his perfect murder.

These sequences of focalization that express Bruno’s perceptions track Bruno’s transformation in the eyes of the reader. He begins as a character the reader is skeptical of and transitions to a character that the reader understands. By the second sequence of chapters, the reader sees Bruno as a character that he or she can sympathize with. This is all done through the technique of internal focalization and how it provides the world through Bruno’s mind.

The focalization presents the reader with the opportunity to recognize the two beings. One of the ways in which the theme of duality in the novel is represented is through the manifestation of sympathy the reader feels for Bruno. There are two different sides to Bruno, just as there are two different sides to Guy. These sequences that open the reader up to noticing this new side of Bruno widen the field of vision in which the reader is susceptible to new perceptions of Bruno.

Guy goes through a similar yet opposite transformation. He starts out as the good-guy protagonist and makes his way towards unstable murderer. According to Malmgren there is more to the way in which Bruno introduces the murder scenario and then seemingly forces Guy into going through with his end of the deal. Malmgren says, “[Bruno’s action] enlists readers’ sympathy for Guy, making them feel that he is the beleaguered innocent party. This feeling is, however, partially undercut by Guy’s passivity and by his strange identification with Charly.” (142). This draws attention to the thought that just because Guy didn’t actually physically do anything, he is not innocent. He still didn’t turn Bruno in, and he relates to Bruno. Guy sees Bruno as a sort of adversary yet an ally at the same time. How can an individual that identifies with the man who killed his ex wife be 100% innocent or completely good? Highsmith is subtly transforming the kind of character Guy Haines is in the first chapter, to a broken and lost version of our former protagonist.

By chapter 23, the points leading up to Guy’s murder of Sam Bruno, the thoughts and overall mentalities of Guy Haines are so similar to those of Charles Bruno before he kills Miriam, that they could have been the same person. After Guy officially tells Bruno he will go through with his end of the deal the narrator tells us, “ ‘Yes,’ Guy said, and felt the yes absorbed by the darkness, not like the other nights when the yes had been silent, not even going out from him. It undid the knot in his head so suddenly that it hurt him. It was what he had been waiting to say, what the silence in the room had been waiting to hear” (145). This is so similar to how Bruno felt after making the decision to commit murder. The reader also catches sight of how dependent Guy has become on Bruno, how his feelings for Bruno have shifted just as the readers’ have. Guy thinks to himself, “He was like Bruno. Hadn’t he sensed it time and time again, and like a coward never admitted it? […] Or why had he liked Bruno? He loved Bruno. Bruno had prepared every inch of the way for him, and everything would go well because everything always went well for Bruno. The world was geared for people like Bruno” (148). These are thoughts that Guy has on the train on his way to Great Neck, Long Island to kill Sam Bruno, Bruno’s father.

There are most certainly more “Guy chapters” than “Bruno chapters,” but through the course of chapters 40 through 45, the narrator’s focalization switches from character to character rather quickly. With 45 containing the death of Charles Bruno, it is safe to say that these chapters behold the nove’ls rising action and climax. Aside from the familiar Guy and Bruno dual internal focalizations, the reader also gets to experience the internal focalizations of Anne and Gerard. Highsmith does this to present an outside view of Guy and Bruno from inside the story. A closer examination of these chapters can clarify the importance of internal focalization in this novel.

In chapter 40 the reader receives Guy’s perceptions as he finds out from Bruno that Gerard is on to the two of them after finding Guy’s Plato book in Bruno’s position. Upon this discovery Guy thinks to himself, “Death had insinuated itself into his brain. It enwrapped him. He had breathed its air so long, perhaps, he had grown quite used to it…he was not afraid. He squared his shoulders superfluously” (231). This is hardly the Guy Haines that the reader is introduced to at the beginning of the novel. The focalization at this point is highlighting Guy’s thought process and drawing attention to the dramatic shift in his mindset. This pinpoints the final stage of Guy’s transformation.

In chapter 41, the reader witnesses the first in a series of inner-chapter shifts in focalization. The significance of this chapter lies in the perception the reader receives as Guy and Bruno have virtually the same thoughts at the same time, each regarding the state of mind of the other. First, the reader gets Bruno’s perception of Guy as he enters Gerard’s office to be questioned. Bruno thinks to himself, “Guy looked nervous…but his usual air of being nervous and in a hurry covered it” (233). This is followed by Guy’s perception of Bruno. “Guy looked at Bruno. Bruno was nibbling, so casually the action seemed nonchalant, at a fingernail of the hand that propped his cheek” (233). Both of these observations regard the state of aloof nervousness that each character feels the other is possessing. Guy looks nervous, but that is just how he looks normally. Bruno is biting his nails, a behavior associated with anxiety, but he is doing so nonchalantly. Both characters recognize the other’s anxiety, and both make excuses to disprove their own observations. This moment solidifies the connection of the two characters. This portrayal of the two men is presented as if they were one person.

Next, the reader gets Anne’s perception of what is going on. Here Anne is serving as an objective third party. She is objective because she is not privy to the thoughts, motives, and desires of the two men the same way that the reader is  as she comes to discover who Bruno is and what he is capable of. Her initial deductions are similar to those of the reader. Bruno is the bad one. Guy is the good one. As Anne comes to terms with the information she finds herself making similar observations to those that the reader has been making as the characters transformed before them.

Anne’s perceptions of Bruno that the internal focalization uses in this moment are used to open the reader’s mind to the fact that there is a world outside of the minds of Bruno and Guy. Anne comes to many of the same conclusions that the reader came to, but she is not vulnerable to the manipulation of the author the way that the readers are. Anne has her own thoughts. Not Bruno’s. Not Guy’s.

The chapter preceding Bruno’s death consists of a look at Bruno’s relationship with Guy and Guy’ s relationship with Anne. While Bruno is spending time with Anne it becomes clear that his relationship with Guy has become a bit of an obsession for Bruno. Bruno tells Anne, “There is nothing I wouldn’t do for [Guy]! I feel a tremendous tie with him, like a brother” (249). A few moments later Bruno thinks to himself, “if he could strangle Anne, too, then Guy and he could really be together (251). This statement jerks the reader awake to the unstable Bruno that was present at the beginning of the novel, but had been covered by the internal focalization of Bruno and Guy that distracted the reader from these kinds of characteristics.  Guy is growing closer and closer now that Anne has turned against Bruno and informs Guy of her pregnancy. This reverberates the notion of Guy as ‘good guy’ family man.

In Bruno’s final chapter he comes off as erratic and drunk. He is often incoherent and mentally falling apart. His last thought before falling overboard is that, “He wanted to take a long walk away from all of them, even away from Guy” (263). After Bruno falls off the boat and Guy has failed to rescue him, Guy thinks to himself, “Where was his friend, his brother?” Guy finally admits to what Bruno actually meant to him. Because Bruno means so much to Guy in this moment, Bruno means just as much to the reader. After Bruno’s death Guy thinks, “He was aware that, one by one, they left him, even Anne” (263). This bears a striking resemblance to the thought that Bruno had right before he fell. Bruno walked away from Guy and now Guy has been left completely alone.

The different focalizations within these chapters provide a massive amount of insight into the thoughts and perceptions of the characters. The perceptions received by the reader build connections between Guy and Bruno and his or her self. The reader was able to develop sympathetic bonds to these characters despite their immoral acts. What does this mean about the reader? Is the reader a bad person because he or she was emotionally invested in the lives of two murderers?

In Why Do We Care About Literary Characters it is suggested that while the point of view received by the reader can put him or her in the shoes of a criminal, they are separate from the deeds themselves. The reader is a third party. Vermeule uses the works of Amy Coplan to demonstrate these ideas. Copland states, “Through the process of empathic connection, the reader simulates a character’s experience, but because he simultaneously has his own thoughts, emotions, and desires, his overall experience involves more than just simulation” (qtd. in Vermeule 42). Coplan also states that while the reader may be empathizing with a character he or she also has his or her own thoughts to apply to the situation as well. These thoughts that the reader has taken into account include aspects like theme and messages of the narrative, details that the characters are not privy to (42). According to Vermeule and Copland, the answer to the morality question of fictional murder and murderous characters is that it is not immoral or unethical. Sympathizing with murderous characters is not unethical because there is often a message behind the murder.

While there are murders that take place in Strangers on a Train and the novel closely follows the characters as they commit murders, the point of the novel, the overall theme, has nothing to do with murder. The theme of the novel investigates the abstraction of a double identity, of duality. This theme applies not just to the content of the novel, but to the reader as well. There is a sense of duality in the role of the reader. The reader must become invested in what the author is trying to relay through any given piece of work. In order to do that, the reader must be able to sympathize with various aspects of the writing. However, they have a second role. That role consists of analyzing and dissecting the work and applying outside reasoning to the text in order to find the author’s true meaning. There is the reader that is inside the story with the characters, and the reader that is outside the story with his or her own knowledge and perceptions.

Patricia Highsmith uses the narratological technique of focalization in a very successful and productive way. She is able to use the point of perception of the narrator in Strangers on a Train to evoke feelings of sympathy from the reader. These sympathetic feelings allow the reader to transform his or her perceptions of two murders. Murder is not a practice that is socially or legally accepted in society, yet Highsmith gets the reader to accept the murders committed by Bruno and Guy. The reader sees Guy and Bruno through the eyes of Guy and Bruno. A sense of camaraderie is built up between the two men and because the reader is included in the characters’ consciousness, they become a member of this companionship. The novel presents Bruno and Guy as two versions of the same self. There are two versions to the reader’s self as well. As the reader experiences what goes on in the novel they are drawn in and urged to rationalize the characters’ criminal behavior. While the reader is immersed in world of Strangers on a Train they are also still present in the world outside of the novel. They are able to apply themes and other literary devices to what they are reading. This allows the reader to keep a part of him or herself isolated and capable of recognizing ideas that are separate from Guy and Bruno’s.

Works Cited

Booth, Wayne C. The Rhetoric of Fiction. [Chicago]: University of Chicago, 1961. Print.

Bundgaard, Peer. “Means of Meaning Making in Literary Art: Focalization, Mode of Narration, and Granularity.” Acta Linguistica Hafniensia 42 (2010): 64-84. Print.

Highsmith, Patricia. Strangers on a Train. New York: W.W. Norton, 2001. Print.

Jahn, Manfred. “Windows of Focalization: Deconstructing and Reconstructing a Narratological Concept.” Style 30.2 (1996): 241-67. ProQuest Education Journals. 16 Dec. 2012.

Keen, Suzanne. Empathy and the Novel. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Print.

Malmgren, Carl Darryl. Anatomy of Murder: Mystery, Detective, and Crime Fiction. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular, 2001. Print.

Vermeule, Blakey. Why Do We Care about Literary Characters? Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2010. Print.

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