"Dusk" is a somber, quiet hour of the day, a time appropriate to take a dim view of life or even for mischief makers and confidence tricksters to operate. Ellucidateto give an explanation with...

"Dusk" is a somber, quiet hour of the day, a time appropriate to take a dim view of life or even for mischief makers and confidence tricksters to operate. Ellucidate

to give an explanation with reference to the story by Saki

 

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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In the short story "Dusk," it is about the time of day known as dusk. People who live defeated lives wander about at dusk. They fear rejection so dusk is the time of day to take a walk in the park. At dusk, no one will recognize them as easily. The defeated people feel safer when out at dusk. Mischief makers and tricksters, better known as scam artists, come out at dusk.  

Gortsby who is feeling dejected is out in the park at dusk. Gortsby is sitting on a park bench. An older gentleman sits down beside Gortsby. At once, Gortsby begins to analyze what the older man is feeling down about. Gortsby imagines the older gentleman receives no respect at home; otherwise, why wouldn't he be home at this time of day? No doubt, the older man is feeling rejected at home. Of course, this is Gortsby's analysis.

The older man leaves and a younger man sits down. He claims to have lost his way back to his hotel. He only went out to get a bar of soap, and now he cannot find his way back. Unfortunately, he will have to sleep out doors tonight. 

Clearly, the younger man is hinting for Gortsby to loan him some money so that he will not have to sleep out doors tonight. Gortsby, who prides himself on recognizing a scam artist, tells the young man that he would have believed his story if the young man had had a bar of soap to corroborate his story.  

Feeling defeated, the young man gets up and leaves. He realizes Gortsby did not fall for his scam. 

As the young man leaves, Gortsby just happens to see a bar of soap under the park bench. He chases after the young man to return his bar of soap. Gortsby, feeling foolish for not believing the young man, offers a loan of money to the young man. 

Feeling good about his good deed, Gortsby walks back by the park bench in which he and the younger man had been sitting. The older gentleman is there, apparently 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.”

Gorstby feels foolish. He believed the young man and now he has loaned him money that Gortsby will never see again.

No doubt, the defeated do come out at dusk. Gortsby fell for the young man's scam. 

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