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Save as many as you ruin

By swagmeister12 Apr 30, 2014 921 Words
A) Save as Many as You Ruin
People makes mistakes, sometimes these mistakes are the result of something self-inflicted, and other times, they are totally unintended. Some of those mistakes can be small ones, or life-changing factors that can turn things completely upside down. At some point, you can stand without anything at all due to a mistake made. But you can also be granted another chance, a chance to correct that mistake and make something good out of it instead. In Simon Van Booy’s short-story “Save as Many as You Ruin”, we are introduced to a man named Gerard. Gerard is a handsome, middle aged guy, just around 40 years old, who has an eight years old daughter named Lucy. Lucy is the result of Gerard’s affair with Issy. He was cheating on his wife, Laurel, and when he wanted to leave Issy and stop the affair, it was too late. She had become pregnant and carried the child of Gerard. Therefore he told about the whole thing to Laurel who later ended their relationship. After living with Issy for some time, she decided to go to Hollywood to become an actress, but instead she was found dead in a pool 4 years later. Gerard was left alone to raise their daughter. Gerard is a man who has a rather boring life, filled with regrets and things that depress him, the only good thing that he thinks off is Lucy, who means the world to him. In the text we are constantly reminded of how much Gerard loves his daughter and informed of how much she means to him. “Gerard feels stabbing love for his daughter.”1, “I love her, I’m her father. I want what’s best for her.”2 Gerard is a kind and handsome man. He thinks a lot about things, and is trapped in an existence which he does not like (he only likes one thing about it, and that is his daughter”; he has ruined his life by leaving his true love, and feeling responsible for the death of another woman. He is good to his daughter, but also quite the charmer and a ladies’ man. Throughout the entire story, with exception of when Gerard thinks of Lucy, there is a very sad and uncomfortable mood. Gerard is questioning his purpose in life and his very existence. He cannot figure out if his life is just an ordinary one, or if he has some special purpose to fulfill “Gerard thinks of his own footprints and how soon they will disappear… He wonders if his life is an extraordinary one” 3 The mood changes a bit when Gerard meets Laurel while walking home. When Gerard sees Laurel again, it is the first time in eight years that he sees her. After she left, this was the first encounter with her, since she left. Laurel was the woman that Gerard loved and still does. She is a contrast to Issy. On one hand, we have Laurel who represents life and love, and on the other hand we have Issy who represents death and lust. Even though Issy died four years ago, the memory of her still haunts Gerard, “He knows that before long Laurel will move in with them. He thinks of Issy. He remembers her laugh, then the roar of snapping flames at her cremation. All of the sudden he feels a chill like cold water down his back.” Lucy is representing her memory, and that is why he cannot let the memory of Issy go. In some way, Gerard feels guilty for the death of Issy. He feels responsible for her leaving, and that is why it haunts him that she is dead. He also get reminded of her thinking of him, because she wrote that Gerard was the next of her kin right before she died. He was just about all she had. Laurel becomes a new beginning, and he gets the chance to correct what he ruined eight years back. His daughter, Lucy is also a contrast to her mother, who was lying all the time, “Gerard thought it was a joke. She was always telling lies.”4 But Lucy is very honest, and disapproves lies, and she was quite good to notice when Gerard was lying “Lucy can smell a lie a mile off.”5 She is returning the love that Gerard has for her, and she loves him just as much, if not more. As she means everything to him, he means everything to her. “”Why are you so late, Daddy?” She is kissing him all over his face.”6 Fate is the main theme of the story. Gerard seems to think a great lot of his own fate, and his purpose in life. It seems that Gerard has ruined his own life, and Laurel and Issy’s as well. Thinks that was the result of a mistake he made eight years back. But now that he meets Laurel again, it could seem like fate has brought the two back together and that it has given Gerard another chance to correct the mistake and save both his own and Laurel’s life. It seems like the title “Save as Many as You Ruin” refers to Gerard’s reflections about life. His thoughts about life and his existence. That he feels responsible for the death of Issy and the fact that he cheated on the one woman that he loved. And then he gets the second chance to make up for him ruining her life as well.

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