Dusk is an appropriate time for confidence tricksters to operate. Elucidate with reference to the story "Dusk."  

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the short story "Dusk," the time of day is an appropriate time for tricksters to come out of hiding. As Gortsby sits on a park bench, he encounters two different type of men. The first man is an older gentleman who seems to be defeated. Gortsby's philosophy is that the defeated of mankind wander about at dusk, seeing it is the time of day when no one will recognize them.

Gortsby imagines that the older gentleman is dejected. He imagines that the older gentleman gets no respect at home. 

When the older man leaves, a younger man sits down. The younger man begins to tell his sad story about how he went out for a bar of soap and now cannot find his way back to his hotel. He adds that he left his wallet in the hotel and now has no money to get another hotel. He will have to sleep out doors tonight.  

Gortsby would have believed his story if he had had a bar a soap to corroborate his story. 

The younger man leaves feeling more defeated than ever. Gortsby did not fall for his scam. The younger man is a trickster who tried to con Gortsby out of his money. 

As the younger man leaves, Gortsby sees a bar of soap under the park bench. Gortsby changes his mind and chases after the younger man to give him his bar of soap and to loan him money for the night. 

Feeling good about his good deed, Gortsby passes the park bench and sees the older gentleman looking for something:

As Gortsby walks back, he passes the bench where he had been sitting. He notices the old man who had also been sitting there earlier. The old man is now searching for something. When Gortsby asks if the old man has lost anything, the man replies, “Yes, sir, a cake of soap.”

Now, Gortsby realizes he has been tricked by the scam artist. The younger man has Gortsby money--money Gortsby will never see again. 

It is true that the tricksters come out at dusk. It is the time of day when no one will recognize them. It is a perfect time of day for a scam. The younger gentleman lives off of people like Gortsby.