Earl’s comments in RED

Difficulties in Leading Double Lives

Taking on the role of one person is not always easy [What
do you mean? One’s own role? Another’s? In what situation?]
. Identitycrises
are not uncommon among young people [Non-sequitur.
Assuming another’s role and adolescent „identity crises“ have no common
. What if we all, at one time or another were forced to
take on double lives [How would this happen? Who
is „we“ {avoid „we“ in papers unless the referent of that we is clearly
? Life would indeed be much morecomplicated and people
would be rather confused when attempting to distinguish one person from
the other [A hypothesis like this does not make an
argument. You might as well say, „What if we were all on fire?“]

In Patricia Highsmith’s „The Talented Mr. Ripley,“ [titles
of novels are underlined/italicized; short stories get quotation marks]

the main character, Tom Ripley, takes on his own identity [What
does this entail? Who was he before he took on his own identity? How was
it his own if he had to take it on? This situation describes the work of
very well, but that’s another story entirely],
as well as his friend whom he murders [A friend,
whom he murders? Nice friend]
, Dickie Greenleaf.

As Tom soon discovers, it is rather difficult living the life of two
different people [Soon discovers? This is something
he or anyone would realize before attempting it. It wasn’t a discovery]

In Pat Cadigan’s „Fools,“ [Fools ]
the brain cop [too colloquial – brain police officer]
Mersine goes into deep undercover as Marva, thus taking on a double-identity
[Distinguish the differences between the two impersonations.
You’re on to an interesting line of inquiry here. What is the difference,
for example, of the Marva persona to the Dickie persona?]
. Living
two different lives is more complex than it seems [I
think it looks precisely as complex as it seems]
. It did not take
long for Ripley to realize the difficulty and confusion of a double identity
[Again, you write this as if Tom wouldn’t have realized
it until he attempted it. I’m sure most readers realize it without ever
attempting it.]

Tom found that he looked similar to Dickie and, thus, would be able
to pull off being Dickie [But not so similar that
he could pass as Dickie to people who had met the real Dickie]
that he could get his hands on Dickie’s money (not to mention his extravagant
[it was comfortable, but hardly extravagant]
lifestyle). All of the lies that Tom told to Mr. Greenleaf, Marge, Freddie,
the Italian police, etc. were part of his cover to pull off not getting
caught for Dickie’s murder [This is a circuitous
way of saying „Tom impersonated Dickie“]

Freddie’s death is an example of Tom’s mistakes [I
don’t understand this sentence. „Freddie’s death makes it sound like an
accident. And, strictly speaking, it wasn’t a mistake either. Had Tom not
done it, he would eventually have been discovered.]
. It did not
take long for Freddie to catch on that Tom was hiding something–Tom could
not lie as well as he had once thought [He could,
but there’s a limit of course. Freddie crossed the line.]
. In addition,
Tom had a hard time forging Dickie’s signature on the checks and practiced
signing Dickie’s name several times to prevent anyone from catching him
in the illegal act of forgery [He commits forgery
to prevent anyone from catching him committing forgery? An interesting
logical loop. Forgery is difficult, but Tom succeeds in getting away with

Forgery was just another form of stimulation for Tom Ripley [What
do you mean? He had to commit forgery if he was to access Dickie’s money.
Otherwise impersonating Dickie would have been pointless. Do you think
the act of forgery itself was a thrill for him? Why? How does this figure
into your analysis of the the novel? Of Tom?]
. His conscience
was not disturbed by any of the illegal acts he committed [Non-sequitur].

Death becomes a common factor when people decide to take on double lives
[What do you mean? This has an internal non-sequitur.]
. In „Fools,“ Marva2 hires Marceline to kill Mersine [Not
exactly death. Marva2 {my classification, by the way. She isn’t distinguished
from the original fake Marva in the novel} is not a real person, and Mersine
wasn’t killed. Tom kills Dickie to take his identity but that alone doesn’t
lead to a general formula that „dual identity=death“. You only have one
example of it here in the two texts.]

When Herbert Greenleaf offers Tom Ripley travel fare and spending money
to supposedly [this means that that wasn’t really
what he wanted Tom to do with the money]
persuade [split
his son to come home, Mr. Greenleaf is, in a sense,
„hiring“ Tom to murder Dickie Greenleaf [Why? Did
the first person to give John Wilkes Booth acting lessons train him to
assassinate Lincoln?]
. Mr. Greenleaf does not know Tom well enough
to trust him, yet he does so anyhow, in desperation of his son’s return
[Hardly Greenleaf’s fault. Tom had been recommended
to Greenleaf by trusted friends of the family, and Greenleaf remembered
Dickie had known him.]

Mr. Greenleaf fails [Greenleaf doesn’t fail.
His agenda was to persuade Tom to go on this mission to Europe for him.
He succeeded in that. Tom failed in the mission, but of course, he never
attempted to complete it.]
when Tom accepts his offer to go
to Europe to bring back Dickie because not only does Mr. Greenleaf lose
his only son in the process, but a great deal of his money has been misused
by Tom as he explores Europe and takes on the life of Dickie Greenleaf
[That’s hardly Greenleaf’s failure. He was victimized].

[Let’s look at how to build an argument, focus,
and execute it within the format of an essay. Most of the statements above
are just that: semi-related to unrelated statements. You have the makings
of a very good thesis here – the comparison between the „impersonations“
in the two novels. You only have to decide what critical point/points you
wish to make through that comparison, and to map out the steps of the argument.
This would be worth

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