In "Dusk" by Saki, do you agree that Gortsby had been "too clever" for the second time in one night, and why or why not?Gortsby had actually been "too clever in judging by circumstance" for the...

In "Dusk" by Saki, do you agree that Gortsby had been "too clever" for the second time in one night, and why or why not?

Gortsby had actually been "too clever in judging by circumstance" for the second time in one night.

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes.

In Saki's "Dusk," after Grotsky hands the young man a sovereign and his card, he reflects,

Poor boy, he as nearly as possible broke down....I don't wonder either; the relief from this quandary must have been acute.  It's a lesson to me not to be too clever in judging by circumstances.

With his typical brillant sarcasm, Saki mocks the pomposity of his character Grotsky, who sits on the park bench in the dusk and cynically regard the passers-by.  However, his disparaging of others reverses itself on him, making him the butt of the sarcasm.  For, after the young man has received the soap from Grotsky as well as a sovereign and the soap that Grotsky thinks he has loast, the young man makes a sound in his throat as he thanks his donor.  However, Grotsky has made a second midjudgment. for when he returns to the park bench he finds the older gentleman, who had been seated by him, searching around the bench for the bar of soap that he had purchased.  So, his judgment of the young man's embarrassment and gratitude is wrong, also--for the second time.