STRANGERS ON A TRAIN
AUTHOR OF THE BOOK: PATRICIA HIGHSMITH
Patricia Highsmith is an American writer. She studied English, Latin and Greek at Barnard College, a university for women in New York. After Barnard, she did different jobs in New York. She wrote picture stories and worked as a shop assistant at the famous New York Bloomingdales shop . Here she watched people carefully and later used them as characters for her books.
She was born in Texas, in 1921 and grew up in New York. Her mother left her father five months before Patricia was born and remarried when Patricia was three. She did not meet her real father until she was twelve years old. she had a very difficult relationship with her mother and she used this experience in some of her stories.
Strangers on a train was her first book and it came out in 1950.
She was an expert crime writer and she wrote twenty -two books and several collections of short stories.
Alfred Hichcock made an exciting film os Strangers on a Train in 1951.
· Charley Bruno : He is a person with a emotional problems. He´s very close to his mother and hates his father. He drinks a lot and he never works beause his father is very rich.
· Guy Haines: He is a normal person and works as an architect.
· Miriam: She is Guy´s wife, but they are separated now.
· Anne: She is Guy´s girlfriend and lives in New York.
· Owen Markham : He is Miriam’s boyfriend,
· Arthur Gerard: Private Detective
SCENE OF THE FILM
This story begins on a train travelling through Texas. The protagonists are Guy Haines and Charley Bruno. Both are passengers on the train.
Guy Haines goes from New York City to Metcalf, the town, where he lived when he was young. He is going to visit his wife Miriam. Guy and Miriam are separated and planning to divorce. Guy wants the divorce now because he has a girlfriend in New York. Her name is Anne. He wants to get married soon but the trouble is that Miriam is pregnant. It’s not Guy’s baby, but he’s afraid that she doesn´t want the divorce now. Because of that Guy hates Miriam. He’s a normal person and he works as an architect.
Charley Bruno is taking a train from New York to go on holidays in Santa Fe. He drinks too much and alcohol affects his behavior. He has emotional problems and he’s close to his mother and hates his father. He comes from a rich family and he doesn’t have to work to live. He enjoys violence and his mind is a crazy killer. He lives in a world of madness and lies.
On that travel Charley invited Guy to his train room and they spoke about the situation of their lives. They drank too much whisky and Bruno was planning his murders. He said “Oh yes! You murder my father and I’ll murder Miriam. The police will never find us. It’s perfect.” Guy said no and he ran out of the room and he didn’t go back there. He never wanted to see Bruno again.
Few days later Bruno started thinking about the murder again, and he thought it would be perfect. He decided to do it. He went to Mercalf and killed Miriam.
The Guy´s mother called him and she told that Miriam had died. She was murdered in a pack.
Later Guy went to Florida to start his new job. One evening in August he got news from Bruno.
He wanted to talk to Guy about the murder, because he wanted his father to be murdered too, and he wanted Guy to do it. But Guy didn’t talk to him.
In December, Guy was in his office in New York when the telephone rang. It was Bruno.
Bruno was pressing Guy to kill his father like that “You must kill my father soon, before the middle of March” or “I´ll write to Anne tonight and tell about your part in Miriam’s murder. “Guy decided to do it and killed Bruno´s father. They thought it had been a perfect crime but they had left some clues, so the inspector found them out.
Bruno had an accident in a boat and he died. Now, Guy carried all the guilt inside himself. He needed to talk about this with somebody. He told the truth to Miriam’s boyfriend, Owen Markham, while he was talking, there was a phone under his bed so the inspector listened to what he was saying.
SOME NEW WORDS
INQUEST: An official examination of the reason why someone has died.
PROOF: Facts that prove that something is true.
SCRATCH: A long thin mark or cut on something.
SHAME: The unpleasant feeling that you have when you know you have done something bad.
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