Alfred Borden In The Prestige

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Christopher Priest’s novel The Prestige centers on the secrets and plots of two rival magicians: Alfred Borden and Rupert Angier. Early in Borden’s magic career, he devises an act known as The New Transported Man. His fame skyrockets and newspapers deem him the greatest magician. However, to reach this level in his career, he sacrifices many aspects in his life in order to protect the secret of his best act: Alfred Borden is in reality a pair of twin brothers. Borden makes additional sacrifices to fight off his greatest rival Rupert Angier for the protection of his title and fame. Throughout the novel, Borden’s sacrifices reveal his overwhelming desire to obtain the title and fame of the greatest magician. Near the start of his career, Alfred…show more content…
In order to execute the trick instantaneously, Borden must be in two places simultaneously. The secret behind the illusion is simple: Alfred Borden is in reality two men. Alfred is two twins, Albert and Frederick, who live as one man. They risk constant exposure and must continually conceal the fact they are twins. One brother is forced to hide while the other is in public; one brother is forced to conceal himself in the stage equipment and endure long periods of discomfort in order to steal himself into the show; and one brother must forego visiting his family for indefinite periods of time to veil the secret from their own wife and children. Their actions exhibit their combined sacrifice of freedom for the establishment of fame. Moreover, the fact that they hide the secret from their own family further emphasizes their desire to uphold their title and remain the greatest. They leave nothing to chance. Each brother experiences a half life instead of a full life due to their efforts of concealment. Furthermore, one must always be in hiding for the remainder of their lives. In all, the brothers’ actions surround their fame granted by the act The New Transported Man illustrate the chief attribute they value is prominence. The value is demonstrated by their sacrifices of personal freedom in their
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