Save as Many as You Ruin

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Save as Many as You Ruin

In this short story we are exposed to the very shallow and superficial way of making relationships in most of the big cities. It is about a handsome man who unintentionally makes a woman pregnant while being in love with somebody else. The woman abandons him and subsequently dies, thus he is left with the child. He finds the woman he loves eight years after, but how does she consider their relationship? This is what the short story “Save as Many as You Ruin” by Simon Van Booy is about.

Told through a 3rd person omniscient narrator “Save as Many as You Ruin” begins in medias res: “By the time Gerard leaves the office it has stopped snowing. Lights are coming on, but it’s not dark yet. At the end of each block the sidewalk disappears under a pool of gray ice water.” (lines 1-3) Gerard appears to be extremely selfish and somewhat preoccupied with his career and love life since he chooses to hire a babysitter to take care of his child, Lucy. This implies that he gives his pursuit of (superficial) love a higher priority than his child. However, he comes across as a compassionate and considerate person when he at long last is together with Lucy, and this ambiguity is permeated in everything he does. He is very doubtful: “Gerard wonders if he has done the right thing.” (line 60) But he turns out to be a generous person, who gives the babysitter “more than enough” (l. 172) and “hands the cashier a few bills” (ll. 71-72). But his generosity might as well by an outcome of his self-centred ego, thus he deals with these matters in order for himself to feel good. Also it is noticeable that he, from what we get to know, does not inquire into his daughter’s well-being when they communicate, which might substantiate the fact that he is selfish. There are lots of contrasts in this short story. For instance, Gerard’s thoughts about what will happen and what eventually happens stand in great contrast to each other: “Perhaps he could have walked on....
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