The Mountain Shadow Question #21--Finished with Violence?

Murder on the Orient Express by ‎Agatha Christie

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The Mountain Shadow Question #21--Finished with Violence?

Unread postby fireflydances » Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:53 pm

At the end of the book, Lin renounced his old life of violence by throwing his knives into the sea. Right after this, Khaderbhai's repaired sword is returned to him, and then Lin is approached at Leo's by a stranger named Tateef who asks if it's true --that Lin will do anything for money. The two agree to meet for discussions later.

Fiction writers often endow actions with symbolic significance. What do these three acts, occurring almost simultaneously, say to the reader? Is Lin finished with violence or not? Is it possible to step away completely from something utterly ingrained in your being?
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Re: The Mountain Shadow Question #21--Finished with Violence?

Unread postby nebraska » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:45 am

The agreement to meet later indicates that Lin can't resist at least knowing what opportunity might be offered. I think he had come to enjoy the thrill of danger, maybe not the violence itself but the intrigue and the battle of wits that often lead to violent confrontations. Lin was a fugitive from acts of violence when he first arrived in Mumbai; his history of criminal behavior was very long.

I think it is possible to change ingrained behavior just as it is possible for an addict to abstain from substances, but only with constant vigilance. Lin probably thought he wanted to be finished with violence and he went through the ritual of tossing the knives, but I am not convinced he had enough to desire to change to actually go through with it.

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