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Insignificant Gestures Essay

1045 words - 5 pages

Insignificant gestures
“If I could peel back time, I would do things differently. But you don’t get second chances”- insignificant gestures (ll. 11-12). One wrong decision can haunt your mind for life – especially those decisions you take at a life-threatening point. These wrong decisions can be the cause of a long-term damage like Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and because of the emotional consequences; it can change our lives and personalities completely. That is the main theme in Jo Cannon’s short story insignificant gestures from 2007 – how one mistake can change a person’s life and personality.

The narrator himself, who is the main character, tells us the story through his own ...view middle of the document...

16-17) – this imagination is however quickly replaced with a pessimist realistic image of the continent. The hospitals do not have proper hospital-equipment and the society is corrupt.
The tittle is a big part of the short story’s message. It is these small insignificant gestures, which brings our back on track. We find two insignificant gestures in this story. And they both symbolize new beginnings. At first we have Celia’s insignificant gesture when she observes him drawing. She gives our narrator hope and a friendship is blooming. The other gesture is when the African nurse questions his ability to speak Chichewa. Both of these gestures set a new course in the narrator’s life. Celia sets the first new course when she enters the narrator’s life – but in a non-sexual way. The narrator describes her as his companion. “Celia was my companion; our elbows at the table never touched. I marvelled that with only three years of schooling she could draw so well. She was a natural” (ll. 55-56)
To begin with the narrator refuses to engage Celia as his housemaid. He is stubborn and find it wrong to hire her as a servant – but when the hospital matron says “You have a lots of money doctor. You are a single man. Celia’s brothers and sisters and mother depend on her,” the narrator changes his mind because Celia’s destiny is in his hands. They have grown such a strong friendship, that when he misjudges Celia’s symptoms – he becomes more emotional than he should. Suddenly he forgets his profession and becomes nervous during her treatment. “My hands trembled…” (ll.93), “a racket started up in my head” (ll.94). Because of this anxiety he has second thoughts about the friendship and he believes the nurses’ gossip. When our narrator is told that Celia’s boyfriend might have been the cause of her death, the only thing that goes through his mind is the...

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