Essay: Brilliant Highsmith (the Author) Succeeded or Failed

Pages: 2 (712 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Topic: Literature  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … brilliant Highsmith (the author) succeeded or failed in this book (the Talented Mr. Ripley) Be specific

"Almost" Sure

Perhaps the most notable facet of Patricia Highsmith's widely popular novel, the Talented Mr. Ripley, is the complex characterization she employs that typifies the vast majority of the people that populate this work of literature. In attempting to portray people with myriad motivations, reservations, and the intrinsic links between such emotions that are associated with concepts of good and evil, the author wildly succeeds in portraying a highly sophisticated novel in which the reader actually sympathizes with characters that typically would not invoke sympathy. The best example of this proclivity of the author is in her depiction of Ripley himself, who, despite a variety of misanthropic tendencies, compels the reader to empathize and side with his rather nefarious role in this book.

The complexity of the characterization of Ripley, which causes readers to champion him and his desires despite their inherent wickedness provides a complication of morality that is both sophisticated and worthy of applause. This morality hinges on Ripley's strengths and deficits, as the following quotation suggests. "He is so lacking in…self-esteem and so desperate to be liked…that you end up empathizing with his conniving ways and become enamoured of his quick wit…" (Kimbofo). This quotation alludes to one of Highsmith's accomplishments in creating Ripley -- his proficiency for duplicitous behavior become a virtue, and misplace the reader's conventional moral judgments about such a character.

Even at the outset of the novel, before Ripley is a full-fledged murderer and is just a petty hustler prone to committing tax fraud, Highsmith's depiction of Ripley is one in which the reader evokes sympathy for him -- despite the fact that he fulfills the role of a traditional villain. The following quotation demonstrates, that the readers' empathy in this (perceived) scenario in this book is with the criminal, Ripley, who thinks as he's pursed by law enforcement agents: "My God, what did he want? He certainly wasn't a pervert, Tom thought for a second time, though now his tortured brain groped…" (Highsmith). Tom has committed tax fraud, yet… [END OF PREVIEW]

Industrial Organizational Psychology How to Succeed in the Business World Term Paper

Authors Are Obsessed With the Gloomier Term Paper

Effects of Brilliant Blue G. On Spinal Cord Injury Thesis

How to Succeed at a Job Interview Term Paper

Author Bias With Respect to Social Studies Textbooks Research Paper

View 1,000+ other related papers  >>

Cite This Essay:

APA Format

Brilliant Highsmith (the Author) Succeeded or Failed.  (2012, May 19).  Retrieved September 17, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Brilliant Highsmith (the Author) Succeeded or Failed."  19 May 2012.  Web.  17 September 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Brilliant Highsmith (the Author) Succeeded or Failed."  May 19, 2012.  Accessed September 17, 2019.