Edward Bloor

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What does Paul’s memory about the man in the ski mask reveal about Paul and Erik’s relationship? What are similarities and differences between Paul and Erik?

In Edward Bloor’s Tangerine, Paul’s memory about the man in the ski mask reveals that Paul does not trust Erik and fears his brother’s violent tendencies. The memory foreshadows his later recovering another memory that proves Erik harmed him in the past.

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In Edward Bloor’s novel Tangerine, Erik is the older brother of Paul, the protagonist. On their first day of school in their new community, Paul has a flashback memory of an incident that aroused negative feelings toward his brother. Paul remembers a violent incident that happened near their home and badly frightened him. Although it turned out that Erik was not connected with in any way, Paul’s immediate reaction was to suspect his brother’s involvement. This unusual reaction shows that Paul does not trust his brother and fears him because he believes Erik is capable of using serious violence against him.

The incident in question occurred while Paul was riding his bike. As a car passed by him, a man in a ski mask leaned out the window and waved a baseball bat at him. As Paul rode away, the car followed him. Although the man did not harm Paul, he did smash the family’s mailbox. When Paul ran inside to escape and tell his parents, he was thinking that this man was actually Erik in disguise. Erik, however, is at home. Their parents attribute the misunderstanding to Paul’s low vision. Although Paul does not yet recall and the reader has not yet learned, Erik was capable of violence against his brother. Paul’s reaction to this event foreshadows his later recovering his memory that Erik did attack him, nearly blinding him in the process.

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