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The Man with the Scar

20 Sep 2017Literature Essays

The Man with the Scar is clearly a frame story, with a well embedded flashback. The story begins with a focus on the main "Scar". It is around this scar that the entire story revolves. The writer uses great skill to build up anticipation in the reader. The settings of the bar and the gallows help in creating an environment of suspense. The writer uses guided imagery to make the reader believe that the scar is the result of a formidable wound. The skill with which the image of the Scar and that of the general is described is flawless. The description of the general at ones makes the reader like him. The description of the beautiful maiden with her black outfit, rosy lips makes one fall in love with the character. This shows the strength of the imagery used.

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The narration is crisp and plays an important role in building the suspense. The flashback is where the plot of the story actually builds up. The writer surpasses all by giving the impression that the flashback is the climax, all the while keeping the climax for the end. As the story unfold the anticipation builds up in a crescendo. However, the subtle introduction of tragedy leaves one reeling for a while. The mystery now has a tragedy linked to it. The reader is almost sure that the story is reaching its climax. However the writer uses the element of surprise again allowing the general to go free. It is here that the change from flashback to the present frame is made. By this time one is sitting on the edge of the chair. The writer then plays the trump of irony.

The revelation that the scar was the product of the shards of glass from a bottle of ginger ale & not a war wound leaves a bitter, yet favorable taste. The reaction that emanates thus is almost sheepish. The story now seems slightly humorous, but all the while it has a serious message attached to it. (I.e. if the story told to the narrator is true) The scar rewarded to the general by the bottle of ginger ale was bleak in the face of the scar he gave himself. The injury sustained on killing his Love in vain, so that no one else could lay claim to her, would hurt the general for all eternity.


  • Judith Andrews Green "The man with the scar" Providence, R.I. : Jamestown Publishers, 1979.
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