Insignificant Gestures

Topics: A Story, Short story, Death Pages: 3 (1059 words) Published: April 21, 2010
“Insignificant Gestures”
Insignificant Gestures is a short story written by an author named Jo Cannon. It is a story about a young doctor who is stationed in Africa where he tells about all the horror he experienced. At his time in Africa he relates to his servant, Celia, a young African girl, who as the doctor shares a common love for drawing.

After returning from Africa, the narrator retrained as a psychiatrist. “I never wanted to smell blood again. Or the sweet nail-varnish odour of starvation. Or any other reek of human suffering. I couldn’t bear to witness another death.”(page 1, line 1-3) In these lines the narrator clearly describes how all the death, sickness and hunger has torn him apart and destroyed him mentally. You can almost compare him to a war veteran who returns from war with scars in their soul. To begin with the narrator was a doctor or as described in the text; district health officer (page 1, line 27). He is an intelligent person, which also is expressed in the phrase “district health officer, at the absurdly young age of twenty-eight”, (page 1, line 27). The narrator has a big heart in the way he decided to keep Celia as a servant. At first he believed that having a servant was a symbol of inequality and exploitation, but after getting reminded by the hospital matron about him having lots of money, and how Celia’s family depends on her, he decides to keep her. He has always had a passion for drawing, from back when he was a teen and used to cover sheet after sheet of paper with interwoven figures (page 1, line 21).

The relationship between the narrator and Celia is a bit hard to define and figure out. It is very hard to figure out if they are romantically involved or if they only share the same passion for drawing. They never really spoke together, and most of the time they spent apart. “I asked little of her; my life was simple and working long hours, I didn’t make much mess. Celia swept the red dust from the concrete floors and...
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