In "Dusk," where was Gortsby when this incident took place and what was he doing there?

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Dusk," the main character Gortsby was sitting in Hyde Park of London. It was about 6:30 in the evening, right before dark. Gortsby's philosophy was that those who are defeated come out at dusk, the time of day when no one will really notice them. In fact, Gortsby was feeling defeated himself. He was sitting there feeling down and out himself. He was analyzing the people who sat on the bench next to him.

The first older gentleman sat down beside Gortsby. Gortsby sensed that the older gentleman was depressed and lonely. He imagined that the older gentleman received no respect at home. 

When the older gentleman left, a younger man sat down. He was angry and he let out a loud and angry curse. This caused Gortsby to ask the younger man about his problem. The younger man began telling his sad story. He told Gortsby that he was lost. He had left his hotel to get a bar of soap. He also had a drink. He wandered about until he could not find his way back to his hotel. Now, he had no more money with him and he would have to sleep out doors for the night.

Of course, Gortsby did not fall for the younger man's scam at first. Gortsby asked to see his bar of soap, but the younger man could not produce a bar of soap. The younger man realized that Gortsby did not believe his scam so he left, feeling even more defeated than ever. 

Then Gortsby happened to see a bar of soap near the park bench. Gortsby ran after the younger man to give him his bar of soap and to loan him some money for the night. 

Fortunately for the younger man, Gortsby had found the bar of soap. On Gortsby's return trip past the park bench, he saw the older gentleman looking for something:

As Gortsby walks back, he passes the bench where he had been sitting. He notices the old man who had also been sitting there earlier. The old man is now searching for something. When Gortsby asks if the old man has lost anything, the man replies, “Yes, sir, a cake of soap.”

Gortsby will never see his money again. The younger man scammed Gortsby out of his loan. Gortsby should have trusted his first instinct about the younger man.

svksanjan | Student

It was around 6-30 in the evening of the month of March. Norman Gortsby was enjoying the twilight of dusk sitting on a bench lined with the railing inside the Hyde Park in London. In between the railing and the bench there were some bushes near his back. The park was scantily occupied as people left before the sun set in still heavily cold weather. Pedestrian movements were less on foot paths and on narrow walking paths inside. The serene and hushed atmosphere made him thought about dusk, the time when people cared little on way to homes after killing eight pressurized hard hours in the hustle-bustle of professional set-ups. He recalled two beautiful lines that adored him long ago. "A king that is conquered must see strange looks, so bitter a thing is the heart of man." Streaks of dazzling car lights with low roaring sound were endless. Gortsby, while looking at those, churned his past of failures in money matters, which he saw pronouncedly in many wanderers under the street lights.