In the national gallery - Essay
This short story, by Doris Elling, is on one hand a story of a person’s trip to the national gallery during his or her free hour, on the other hand it is a tale of long lost love, this however, is not the story of our main character. Our main character in this text is nothing but a fly on the wall. Even though the story is told through a first person narrator, this particular person from who all of our information is presented to us is not presented with gender, name, age, profession or any characteristic we usually use to define and interpret their actions and thoughts. This leaves us with no preconceived opinions and a completely neutral state of mind. All we know about this person is her interest in Stubbs’ painting of a great brown horse, which indicates she might be upper-class or at least middleclass. Due to the anonymity of our main character it is difficult to identify yourself with the character, this inadvertently causes the readers to put themselves in its place instead, which makes the story become amazingly vivid. Because the narrator of this story is merely observing and conversing we receive detailed descriptions of the other characters in the text. None of these characters have been named by the author either, but those with any importance to narrator is still described in detail though. The old man in the text is at first presented to us, while conversing with another man about the horse painted by Stubbs. This fascinates the main character because of his or hers similar interest in the painting. In spite of this the narrator does not make contact with the man immediately, only when the French girl and friends arrive and disturb the peace they begin to talk. The old man, fascinated by her youth and beauty, opens up to our main character in a moment of weakness. The French girl reminds him of his first love and how she was not interested in him at all, but in an older guy. It was all a cliché. Even though it was a...
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