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What is the character sketch of the young man in the story "Dusk" by Saki?

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kikkistewart | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 27, 2011 at 12:34 AM via web

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What is the character sketch of the young man in the story "Dusk" by Saki?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 27, 2011 at 8:46 PM (Answer #1)

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The young man that replaces the old gentleman who seems so defeated by the vicissitudes of life on the bench is described as being "fairly well dressed" but having the same depressed and browbeaten disposition. As he sits down, he angrily and audibly swears as if to show the way that the world is conspiring against him. The young man clearly shows himself to be a good confidence trickster, as the story that he tells the protagonist is plausible and told convincingly, trying to get Gortsby to give him some money:

He threw a good deal of warmth into the last remark, as though perhaps to indicate his hopes that Gortsby did not fall far short of the requisite decency.

However, his flaw is forgetting the soap that was so much a part of his story, and which Gortsby correctly establishes is the Achilles heel of his attempt to fleece him. Having been challenged, the young man walks off with his head held high and "an air of somewhat jaded jauntiness." His defensiveness is shown yet again when Gortsby finds him after discovering the bar of soap. He is clearly a young man who is something of a chancer, trying to take advantage of others through the stories that he spins, and is incredibly surprised when Gortsby reveals that he found the soap after all.

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humurabbi | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 6, 2012 at 6:10 AM (Answer #2)

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the young man presents a picture of disillusionment and defiance. He expresses his anger loudly to arouse Gortsby's curiousity. He then, tells Gortsby about his misfortune of having lost the way to his hotel ang being in such a predicament-- without any money or lodging for night. He is dissappointed when Gortsby does not believe him, pointing out the weak point of his story which is that the young man did not keep the cake of soap to prove the authenticity of his story. He goes away, having failed to convince gortsby. Gortsby finds the soap, believes him finally and gives him a loan of sovereign. Though he had fabricated the story, the young man succeds in befooling a clever man like gortsby.

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