What is the style of the short story dusk by saki?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A brillant satirist, Saki is true to his inimitable style of ironic deception and clever dialogue that reveals his unsentimental depiction of life in his comedy of manners, "Dusk."  Ridiculing the pretentious Gortsby, who considers himself socially superior to the other "defeated" who sit in the "gloaming hour" of twilight at the park, Saki proves him the dupe of a colossal liar through the skillful use or irony and subtle diction such as this example in which the young man concludes his story,

He threw a good deal of warmth into the last remark, as though perhaps to indicate his hope that Gortsby did not fall far short of the requisite decency.

While Norman Gortsby congratulates himself on finding the logical flaw the young man's tale of woe--the soap he has supposedly purchased is missing--he himself ironically becomes the victim of his own flawed logic as he assumes that the soap under the bench where the young man has sat belongs to him.  The startling ending in which the older gentleman returns for his cake of soap after Gortsby has chastised himself for being "too clever" reveals the deception of his own mind to Gortsby.  Now, Norman Gortsby, ironically, can count himself among the defeated as he has become the victim of the young man's scam.

Subtle diction, adroit dialogue, irony, and an unsentimental and satiric point of view are all characteristic of the style of Saki.


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