In "Gregory" by Panos Ioannides, what is the one decent gesture of the captors? 

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The captors make a decent gesture when they try to give Gregory an opportunity to escape—twice!

In the prisoner-of-war-camp, Gregory does not seem to realize that he is in danger.  The guards do not want to execute him, but they get orders to do so. 

The sentry guarding him had got dead drunk and had dozed off. ... When we came back, there was Gregory sitting by the sleeping sentry and thumbing through a magazine. (166-7)

The guards tease him when they return and realize he did not leave because the weather was bad and he had no place to go, but in reality they feel bad.  They wanted him to escape to give them an out so they would not have to kill him.  When he does not take it, they try again.

The men think about how Gregory is their friend, and killed a scorpion from the narrator’s leg.

We got together inside the barracks. We sent Gregory to wash some underwear for us. (190-1)

The laundry doesn’t work.  Gregory still does not escape.  The men tried to make a decent gesture and let him escape, but it doesn’t work so they have to kill him.


IOANNIDES, PANOS  (2011-08-15). GREGORY AND OTHER STORIES (Kindle Locations 166-167). Armida Publications. Kindle Edition.