The Prestige

The Prestige - Magic! Or is it? Is there really such a...

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Magic! Or is it? Is there really such a phenomenon called magic? Can people really produce flowers and doves out of nowhere? In this world, there may or may not be magic, but in Christopher Priest’s novel The Prestige , all the magic inside is actually just deception. The magicians in this novel misdirect their audiences in order to achieve what the audiences want to see: magic! Most of the viewers in all probability do not think magic exists, but they go to the magic shows anyway. Why? They want to be entertained. They want to be misled. In both the novel and film versions of The Prestige, misdirection is half the fun. The audience may well know of the secret halfway through the story, but that will not stop the audience from continuing, because the process is just as important as the ending result. Two magicians, Alfred Borden and Rupert Angier, strive to be the best in their business. Their work is very important to them, and they are always finding ways to improve their tricks. Onstage, Borden and Angier obviously misdirect their audience in order to perform their tricks successfully. Offstage, they also have secrets hidden even from their closest. Even the ones they love do not know everything; they are often deceived. Borden and Angier veil many things because they know that once people know of their secrets, even if it is their loved ones, their prized tricks will be jeopardized. But to them, some tricks are worth it. The Transported Man is an important illusion in both the novel and the film. Originally Borden’s trick, Angier also performs it in the film version of The Prestige . In this illusion, there stand two empty cabinets large enough to fit a grown person. The Transported Man is quite simple. As described in the novel by Angier, Borden steps into the first cabinet, closes the door, and “ in the same instant , the door of the [other] cabin burst open, and Borden is now impossibly
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inside! The cabinet he entered only moments before collapses, and folds emptily on to the floor of the stage” (Priest 195). In the novel, when Angier first saw Borden’s trick The Transported Man, he was almost certain that Borden did not use a double. The second man coming out of the cabinet had to be the same person as the first. However, after watching the performance again with Cutter, his ingenieur, he was convinced by him that Borden must have used a double. Shortly thereafter,
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The Prestige - Magic! Or is it? Is there really such a...

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