Homework Help

Justify the title of "Dusk" (by H.H. Munro) with close reference to the story.  

user profile pic

yahoo111 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 18, 2012 at 3:41 PM via web

dislike 2 like

Justify the title of "Dusk" (by H.H. Munro) with close reference to the story.

 

3 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 18, 2012 at 10:58 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 3 like

The title of Saki's short story,"Dusk," is appropriate given the setting of the story. Norman Gortsby, the protagonist of the story, defines dusk as "the hour of the defeated." Given that Norman is out at dusk, one can only asume that he will find defeat by the end of the tale.

For Norman, dusk provides the cover that those who are hiding their "shabby clothes and bowed shoulders and unhappy eyes." Not wanting to be seen by the successful, dusk provides the shadowing needed to hide their failures.

At the end of the story, Norman has fallen victim to one of the successful. Spinning a story about having no cash and friends, a young man is able to prove Norman to be one of the people of dusk. Therefore, the title of the story is appropriate given not only does it describe part of the setting, it describes the figurative partial darkness of Norman's trust in mankind.

Sources:

user profile pic

kathrina-pierce | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:02 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 2 like

though norman at 1st says that he is successful and can easily walk in the light, but he doesnt do so as he likes the dark.... he is proved wrong at the end as he gets defeated by the trickster........

user profile pic

shrutipatel | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:02 AM (Answer #3)

dislike 2 like

The short story is about an incident that happens in a relatively short timr in a park in the dusk. The dusk in that evening is a little unusual, in the sense that 'Dusk' had fallen heavily over the scene!

The dusk in the story ia all pervading and in a way, menacing. Metamorphically, the dusk is symbolic, symptomatic of the dark mood of the persons concerned in the short story. We find the road and sidewalk having wide emptiness - suggestive of loneliness.

Further, the dusk strangely, 'Pleased Gortsby' as it 'harmonized' with his present mood. Dusk symbolising the despair and loneliness of those setting on the bench, in the park. 'Dusk to his mind was te hour of the defeated.' Men and women who have struggled in life but failedcome forth in this hour. Their fortunes have fallen and hopes are dead. They want to avoid the scrutiny of the commom people. They come in this hour when their shabby clothes - bowed shoulders and sad eyes may pass unnoticed or unrecognised. The people in the park are described as 'figures' - and this suggests lifeliness and despair.

the external atmosphere of the dusk and gloom blends perfectly with the mood of the characters in the story. Since Gortsby has failed in a more subtle ambition, he is cynical.

The elderly gentleman is an individual without much self-respect left in him and has a 'dropping air of defiance' about him. Even the young man, who replaces the old gentleman on the bench scarcely more cheerful than his predecessor. The world 'went badly' with him too and he was frustrated. We can say that the inner atmosphere of the individuals is dusk too.

Not all is dark - at least for a very brief moment. Gortsby who id not believe the "outrageous" story of the young man finally does believe him when he comes across theone convincing touch in the whole story -the soap. So Gortsby sat across the 'duskshrouded' path to spot the young man. He finds him and gives him the cake of soap and also lends a sovereign. This moment of trust and good will is the only streak of light in the story. 

Nevertheless the streak of light fails. Gorysby realises that he has been cheated. His charity is misplaced, it fails. He falls into despair, into dusk.

Therefore "Dusk" is a very appropriate title for this story. The entire story takes place at dusk. The dusk outside reflects the dusk within the inner atmosphere of the individuals.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes