Pool Group - Borderline - Borderline Plot and Analysis

Borderline Plot and Analysis

The story revolves around a guesthouse run by a set of liberal, hedonistic young people sympathetic to the emerging black American culture. In what would have been completely frowned upon at the time, the manageress played by Bryher has given a room to Pete (Paul Robeson) and his light-skinned black wife Adah, played by Robeson’s real wife at the time Eslanda Robeson. Adah though is having an affair with a white man Thorne (Gavin Arthur), who is also involved with Astrid (played by the poet Hilda Doolittle aka HD). When Adah leaves Thorne to be with her husband Pete, Thorne is distraught and race becomes an issue.

Increasingly Pete becomes the scapegoat for the heartache and conflict that follows between Thorne and Adah. When Thorne “accidentally” murders Astrid, the “liberal” Guest House is forced by the authorities to kick Pete out: “That’s what we’re like,” admits the sympathetic Manageress resignedly. To an extent, Robeson’s character could be seen as reductionist in terms of identity as he tends to be photographed in natural surroundings: sometimes with clouds and the sea as backdrops – the location set in a Swiss Alps border town is important in this respect. Likewise Pete’s behavior is stoical even in the most threatening situations. Yet on the other hand this portrays the reality of culture in this period, and besides Pete also is the character that comes out of the situation with the most dignity even when he is asked to leave town.

Read more about this topic:  Pool Group, Borderline

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