In The Postman Always Rings Twice, why does Frank like Nick so much and why does he tell the reader?

Expert Answers
durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Postman Always Rings Twice, Frank is a drifter, moving from job to job and opportunity to opportunity. He sees an opportunity when he arrives at Twin Oaks Tavern and meets Nick, "the Greek" who is the owner of the "roadside sandwich joint." Hoping to get a free meal, he engineers a story about "a guy in a Cadillac" but soon realizes that Nick also wants something from him and agrees to consider working for Nick.

Cora has a strange effect on Frank and he is fascinated by her and not fazed at all that she is Nick's (much younger) wife. Frank gives Nick advice on the best way to improve business and Nick is encouraged to go into town and organize a new sign for the bar. Frank wastes no time in capitalizing on the situation and Cora's mutual attraction and the two begin a passionate affair. Strangely, however, Frank claims a certain respect for Nick: "He never did anything to me," he tells Cora, "He’s all right." Frank's words and his actions contradict each other, revealing Frank's inner conflict. He is unable to commit himself but is consistently drawn back to Cora. 

Frank wants the reader to understand him and to accept that his behavior does not stem from anything personal. He hopes that the reader will therefore not judge him too harshly, even though he is instrumental in the attempted murder - in the bathtub - and the actual murder, of Nick. Everything is not as it seems in The Postman Always Rings Twice and Frank seems to think that, by informing the reader of some of the issues surrounding him and the lack of reality in his life, Frank can endear himself to the reader. The reader will see that Frank is as much a victim of circumstance as anyone. This, apparently, excuses his actions. 

Read the study guide:
The Postman Always Rings Twice

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question