How does the author create the effect of "Gorilla, My Love"?

Asked on by pumamom

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The central effect of this wonderful story is the way in which betrayal is raised as an aspect of relationships between adults and children. One of the main ways in which this is achieved through the author is the presentation of imperfect understanding between the various characters. It is important to realise that Hazel arrives at her conclusion that adults cannot be trusted through comments that are made by the various adults in the short story quickly and without thinking about it. None of these adults are actually trying to deceive and to lie to Hazel, but in a world of mixed messages and imperfect communication, what Hazel sees and understands is very different from what is meant. 

Even though she is brought up in a family where apparently truth is valued, and her grandfather says "If that's what I said, then that's it," she sees through the marriage and name changing of Hunca Bubba that even these stalwart bastions of truth compromise themselves in the way that they accepts Hunca Bubba's marriage and new name. This is the last straw to Hazel, and she has her proof of the mendacious nature of adults and how they betray and use children to their advantage. The author skillfully uses the imperfect communication and perspectives of the various characters to help Hazel to arrive at her conclusion. 



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