is there any possibility that todd is arrested in the end? **SPOILERS**
I am not a native speaker of English, so if my writing sounds rambling or sloppy, please forgive me.
When I read Apt Pupil in the original last summer, I thought Todd is shot to death by the police in the end. Then I went to the school library (I’m a senior high teacher of English), and found a copy of Japanese translation published from Shinchosha company. I wanted to compare my impressions of the original and of the translation—which I occasionally do when I’ve read a very good piece.
However, I was a bit shocked to find that, in the Japanese translation, Todd is not shot and killed, but ‘arrested’ by the local police in the end. I checked several dictionaries, and learned that, in American English, “to take him down” can either mean “to kill him” or “to arrest him.” This Japanese translation has been around in Japan, I’ve found, for a quarter of a century. The late translator, Hisashi Asakura, has been regarded as one of the best translators in Japan, and occasionally been referred to as grand old man of translation world—which I do think he deserves.
However, I still cannot appreciate Mr. Asakura’s ending where Todd is arrested in the end. If Todd is not shot and killed in the end, this novella seems rather imperfect to me. But I am not a native English speaker, and I cannot be certain about my interpretation. The plot summery in Wikipedia says Todd is killed in the end, but I’m wondering if ‘arrested’ ending might be just another possible interpretation.
If this is an error in the Japanese translation, I think this is a critical error that will surely damage the perfection of this novella; it needs to be corrected promptly. Otherwise, the beast with a rifle who was once Todd will still be hanging around in Japan for some more time. I notified the publishing company in Japan about the possibility of a serious error in the translation last summer, but nothing has been heard of since—which is not at all unusual. If Todd remains alive in a world where he shouldn’t be, I feel something must be done for the honor of the author. What do you think?