Summary (Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition)
The narrator and protagonist, occupying and owning the house in which he was reared, recalls the stages by which he comes on some crushing knowledge, how he lives with it and finally realizes his present gain. Seated in the easy chair once occupied by his uncle, he reminisces in the silent, solitary setting, ideal and natural for a reverie, on how the man and woman he called his uncle and aunt used to dote on him as though he were their own child. Memories of simple joys such as are universal in happy homes crowd his mind—how Uncle used to push his snuffbox out of his reach when the narrator was a toddler, how delighted he was when the little fellow tumbled, and how his aunt would carry him off and set him to the entertainment of water-splashing and then attempt with loving determination to feed him. He sees their lives revolve around himself not only when he was small, but also through all of his remembered days, when even under the pressure of silent agony he maintains their sweet relationship.
When the youngster starts going to school, his uncle and aunt pay meticulous attention to every detail of his daily routine. The reader, regaled with lively descriptions of the early morning scrub, the prayers and recitations, the organization of the school satchel with a pointy pencil and all, is left in no doubt whatsoever that the boy (the narrator) is happy and content in the tender, loving care of his uncle and aunt. They take absurd parental pride in all...
(The entire section is 1105 words.)
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