Tangerine

by Edward Bloor

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In Tangerine, how do Erik and Arthur's reactions to Mike Costello's death differ when alone and around Mrs. Fisher?

Quick answer:

In Tangerine, when Mrs. Fisher is around, Erik and Arthur react to Mike Costello's death in a respectful manner. But when she's not there, they laugh about it like it's nothing but a big joke.

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In the wake of Mike Costello's tragic death, the whole town is in shock. The young man, who seemed destined for football stardom, has been killed by a flash of lightning, robbing his parents of a son and a community of one of its best football players.

As one can imagine, most people treat Mike's memory with appropriate respect. But there are a couple of exceptions, namely Erik Fisher and his loyal sidekick and partner in crime, Arthur Bauer. Far from seeing Mike's death as a tragedy, they regard it as all a bit of a giggle. When Paul looks through the patio doors, he can see them laughing and joking about Mike's death, making fun of the spiky hair he sustained as a result of electrocution. Erik says,

Did you see the side of his head? He got Mohawked, man!

To which Arthur replies,

Mohawked.

Paul is shocked by their callous reaction; he cannot believe that they could be so happy after Mike's death. Earlier on, when Mrs. Fisher was around, it was a different story. Then, Erik and Arthur appeared respectful. Erik was quite solemn when he approached his mom and told her what had happened. But all the while, he and Arthur thought that Mike's death was a big joke, something to be laughed about when Mrs. Fisher wasn't around.

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