The Umbrella Man

by Roald Dahl

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Give a brief character sketch of the old man in "The Umbrella Man" by Roald Dahl and how he managed to make the mother believe his story.  

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I assume your question refers to "The Umbrella Man" by Roald Dahl and so I have edited the question accordingly. This excellent short story focuses on one old man and how he manages to keep himself in alcoholic beverages without spending any of his own money by taking other people's umbrellas and then selling them to people to gain more money for his drinking habits. The old man in question is presented as being a "gentleman" who is obviously able to act the part of an old, tired man who is in need of help. The way that he takes the mother of the story in through this deception reveals the convincing way that he is able to present himself and the pleasant kindness that he is able to exude. In fact, he is almost a victim of his own success, as the little girl worries that they might be taking advantage of him. However, above all, he is insistent and the way in which he is presented as a kind man who is giving them a good deal so that he can return to his home because of his tiredness presents him as a character that we feel sympathy for and pity. It is this obviously, combined with the financial element of the deal, that makes the mother agree to the old man's suggestion, and thus unwittingly fall victim to his trick.

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