In The National Gallery

Topics: Fiction, Short story, Boy Pages: 2 (480 words) Published: January 9, 2014

In the National Gallery

Pictures and memories are well connected; they are both frozen and untouchable. What happened in the past are frozen pictures, impossible to be touched. In the national gallery is a short story written by Doris Lessing in 2007. The short story is about the narrator’s visit to the National Gallery in a free hour. The narrator is quite passive through the whole story line. The story is from his/her point view, but is anonymous in the way that we do not get to know his or her name, gender and age. Because the narrator is so anonymous, it leaves the reader wondering who the narrator is, and why he or she is not more involved in the story. We are following other people and, we are experiencing the story from their perspective, especially the old man on the bench, but including the narrator feelings and thoughts about the plot. As an example, he/she is describing a man next to him/her on the bench in the beginning, where the narrator is telling what is happening, but also what he/she thinks: “But he seemed restless, and soon was looking at his watch.”1. The narrator wishes to sit down and watch only one picture, instead of walking the whole gallery speeding by loads of pictures, but without noticing any details. The narrator sits down on a bench in front of the Stubbs chestnut horse. While the narrator is studying Stubs’ painting he/she is distracted by a man about the age of sixty and a younger man, maybe a pupil. The older man is teaching the younger man about the Stubb. He knows all about it, so the narrator decides to listen along. Suddenly the younger man comes with an outburst: “You can’t make a silk purse out of me, I keep telling you”2 and leaves the room. The man continues, on his elbows and knees, looking at the painting, when a group of French school girls enters the room. The man leans forward from his position, staring at the girls. He pays special attention to one of them, a girl who reminds him of a love he had when he...
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