SUITABLE OR UNSUITABLE: THE DEMONSTRATION OF APPROPRIATENESS IN THE NOVEL, ON DANGEROUS GROUND In the novel On Dangerous Ground1, the author, Jack Higgins writes about subject matter that might be appropriate for an ENG 3A1 audience, but this content is appropriate only to a certain extent. The most notable elements relating to this conclusion are that the book contains an excessive amount of smoking and drinking, and tells of numerous acts of violence. On the other side, the book shows many of the dangerous risks taken in the life of a criminal, and students in the ENG 3A1 class should be mature enough to be uninfluenced by the many descriptive passages of violence throughout the novel.
As stated in this essay's introduction, the novel On Dangerous Ground might not be appropriate for students because of the excessive amounts of smoking and drinking found throughout its pages. For example, the book describes Michael Ahern opening the liquor cabinet and treating himself to a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey.2
A final example of the excessive amounts of smoking and drinking found in this book occurs when Sean Dillon takes out a cigar and lights it, while Ferguson Brigadier gets an alcoholic beverage before discussing the day's events.3 Higgins's novel might not be appropriate for students because of the abundant amounts of smoking and drinking that might influence students to start the habits themselves.
In the novel On Dangerous Ground, another feature that hinders the suitability of this piece of literature is the presence of many scenes and acts of violence. The first example of an act of violence occurs when Michael Ahern shoots an undercover agent who is on the phone talking about Ahern's plans to blow up the American President.4 The second example of an act of violence occurs when Sean Dillon thrashes Fergus Munro who is caught assaulting a very important girl.5 As shown by the examples mentioned in this paragraph, this novel might not be appropriate for an ENG 3A1 audience because it contains many acts of violence which might influence students to become more violent.
Within the book On Dangerous Ground, there are many examples of dangerous risks taken in the life of a criminal which might make this novel appropriate for students in the ENG 3A1 class. For instance, one example of a dangerous risk taken by a criminal occurs when Michael Ahern tries to kill the American President by shooting at him through a window. Sean Dillon sees Ahern and kills him before he can pull the trigger.6 A final example of a dangerous risk taken by a criminal takes place when Marco Russo wraps a man, who he has beaten to death, in chains in a vain attempt to conceal evidence of the man's death.7 The concepts mentioned in this paragraph provide support for the idea that characterizing criminals as having very dangerous lifestyles might encourage students to stay away from a life of crime.
Another example that this book might be appropriate for students in the ENG 3A1 class is that they should be mature enough to be uninfluenced by the many acts of violence they read. For instance, when Sean Dillon clobbers Marco Russo in a fight, the student should be mature enough to not imitate the violence contained in this book.8 A second example where the student should be mature in dealing with violence occurs when Sean Dillon gets into a fight with a group of street criminals.9 As shown by the situations found in this paragraph, Higgins's novel might be appropriate for the ENG 3A1 class because students should be mature enough not to imitate an act of violence based on the book.
As argued throughout this essay, Higgins's novel On Dangerous Ground might be appropriate for the ENG 3A1 audience to a certain degree. Specifically this report argues that the book might be suitable because it shows many of the dangerous risks taken in the life of a criminal, and students in the ENG 3A1 class should be mature enough to be uninfluenced by the acts of violence; however, the novel might not be suitable because it contains an excessive amount of smoking and drinking, and tells of numerous acts of violence. Indeed, this novel certainly illustrates that although some parts of the book might be questionable, it is the overall representation of the events that determine whether it is appropriate or not.
REFERENCES 1Higgins, Jack. On Dangerous Ground. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1995.
2Higgins, page 36.
3Higgins, page 325.
4Higgins, page 27.
5Higgins, page 147.
6Higgins, page 50-51.
7Higgins, page 199.
8Higgins, page 229-230.
9Higgins, page 102.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Higgins, Jack. On Dangerous Ground. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1995.