What is Breach?

While readingĀ The City and the City, the aspect of the book that confused me the most was Breach and the ways in which it controlled the cities. It was unclear to me when Breach intervened and when it did not. On pages 110-111, Borlu explains that the case could not be handed over to Breach because the suspect did not breach. In the beginning of the book I thought even entering the other city for its respective residents was considered breach. However, on page 111, Borlu clarifies that “the only violation Breach punishes [is] the existential disrespect of Ul Qoma’s and Bezel’s boundaries”. This made all the examples of crosshatching and examples in Copula Hall make sense for me. In the passage, Borlu explains how the other crimes committed in the case are not in the hands of Breach but handled by the two governments. The only thing Breach is concerned with is the maintaining control over the division of the two cities. This passage helped me understand what Breach is really responsible for and made other aspects of the case fall into place.

3 thoughts on “What is Breach?

  1. Initially, Breach sounds like an intelligent; fearless secret service alert and ready to take down one of the most wanted suspects on the wanted list. However, you made a great observation. As we continue to read Breach is more and more starting to sound like Border Patrol rather than the FBI. Do you think Breach is there to keep them because of the great split or install fear into the citizens of the two nations to prevent them from becoming one again?

  2. Breach was honestly the hardest thing to get a full understanding in the book because it doesn’t seem to follow the rules that you think are true. However, once everything is properly explained it makes more sense as to where it should be applied.

  3. The concept of Breach (or the group) confused me as well. At first, I thought it was an idea, but later found that there were people who were Breach .
    “Im Tyador Borlu. And you?” “Breach,” he said (page 242).
    Like you, I also thought that entering the other city was breach. When Borlu entered Ul Qoma in Part 2, it was clarified because I did not understand how he could enter, but we then learn that there are procedures people must follow.

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