Back Before Photo ID

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EL237

I really can't imagine being able to pull this off now, at least SO easily. It's kind of wierd to think about how much more useless and inneffective police could be if they didn't have access to pictures of their quarry, let alone facial recognition software, and all the other tools they now have. As the story shows, relying on one's intuition and interpretation of the actions of others, has certain drawbacks. 

That said, I really enjoyed the story. It kinda reminded me of that one scene in "Catch Me If You Can," when the main character tells the FBI agent who is after him that he's another government agent, etc. in order to escape.

I also really enjoyed the following quote:

"Your money or your life!" said the constable sternly to the still figure.

"No, no," whispered John Pritcher. "'Tisn't our side ought to say that...." (338)

 Small funny bits like that really helped to build to the eventual ironic twist that ended the story. They kept the story funny, and light-hearted enough that the reader knew something was coming. The constable who couldn't keep his lines straight, would undoubtedly fail to aprehend the fugitive.

This was also a good story to read, following up our discussion on point of view. Throughout, despite the third-person view, the reader tends to remain on par with the guests. I noticed in one case, when describing how the first stranger approaches the door, the narrator only speculates about what the man is thinking. In other passages, the narrator is far more conclusive in describing the thoughts of the Shephard's wife. In this way, Hardy keeps the readers distanced from the strangers, while giving them a degree of familiarity with the invited guests and hosts. In all fairness, I probably wouldn't have noticed this had we not just talked about point of view, but it still seems worth mentioning, in the interest of raising a literary point beyond "stupid cops entertain me."

 

Good choice to read based on our  

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