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A Gap of Sky – Analytical essay

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How do individuals discover their purpose and identity of their existence in a modern society, when they’re undergoing a period, where life at times seems labyrinthine and chaotic? The famous writer Anna Hope is the brains behind the masterpiece: “A Gap of Sky”, which was released in 2008. Youth is a convoluted period, that everyone has to go through at some point in their lives. The most defining parts of being human are evolution. The human constantly learns new thing about themselves, their lives and their surroundings – we adapt all kind of information we get and evolve. Often, youth is characterized by life, the lust and desire to live a life of joy, and the feeling of immunity and being a bold individual.

Or is it? This short story will take a look on the flip side of the coin of the youth. Even though freedom is accessible, expectations and responsibility will worry you and remind you about the reality. Ellie, who is the major character in the story is undergoing a phase in her youth, where she seems lost. How will Ellie handle the situation? These are one of the things, that this essay will analyze and interpret. This essay will focus on the darker aspects of being a young, despairing teenager, and how to get out of this lifestyle.

The structure in the story is following the thoughts and memories through Ellie. The outcome of that structure is that the story is conveyed through flashbacks. The structure of the story is also chronological; it is a mixture. The structure isn’t well-coordinated; this structure refers to Ellie as a person – she is unstructured exactly like the story. The author uses imagery, comparison, and mood to strengthen the messages and themes in the essay. The narrator of the story is an omniscient 3rd person. The narrator knows everything and is aware of the feelings and thoughts that go through Ellie. The fact that the narrator knows everything, means that the story reliable.

The story takes in the streets of London, where there is an urban setting. The urban setting and the environment plays an essential and extremely important role in the story. There are different people with different ambitions – this is what Ellie appreciates a lot. She blends easily, which is seen in the following sentences:

“It is filled with people, and everyone, everyone Ellie sees has the same substance within them, around them, connecting them, looping between them in great bonds of love”. – The city has numerous of different ways to evolve as an individual; unfortunately, Ellie’s evolving in a negative direction. She is appealed by the hedonistic pleasures, that the city offers. The reader is guided through the streets of London with actual and precise location. There is a parallel between the way that Ellie walks through the streets of London and the way she reflects and acknowledges things. An example of the precise and actual location in London, is seen on the following lines:“She turns left, onto Shaftesbury Avenue … She turns away, away, and hurries down through Covent Garden, Seven Dials”

Although the narrator is an omniscient 3rd person, the story is also majorly focused on the thoughts of Ellie. The author uses the stream of consciousness – we feel the flow of ideas, thoughts, and feelings forming the content of Ellie’s consciousness. The effect of this is that the language is predominantly influenced by the vocabulary of a teenager. This use of language intensifies the authenticity of the story and includes the readers extremely well. It gives the readers an insight to Ellie’s personality and her state of mind. An example of this is seen in the following lines:
”Coffee plunged, poured, slurped; hot, fuck that’s hot. Anything else? Of course: printer, printer’s out of ink. Student shop too. Fine. Time? Ten minutes to get there. Shit.”

The protagonist of the story is Ellie. She is the major character. She is a round character – there is more than one side to her personality. Ellie is the result of a teenager, who at some point in her life rebel against her parent’s cultural values and their norms. Later on in her life, she realizes that she might have taken the values, traditions and their unconditional love for granted after living on her own in a chaotic city. Ellie seemed to found it absurd, that her parent’s decision about enrolling her at the university. This is seen in the following lines: “Not them, especially not them. It was their fault she was doing this bloody course in the first place”.

In spite of Ellie’s disbelief in her parent’s decision and her anger towards them, she is suddenly reminded of their unconditional love. She finds a stone, that was identical to the one, that her mother gave her a long time ago. The sight of this stone made her realize something important. “It was still an expression of something, a distilled expression of something, of her mother, of her love, and Ellie had just shoved it away, taken it for granted”.

– Ellie comes to her senses and comprehends her mother’s love. When she realizes this, she changed throughout the history. This makes her a dynamic character. In the beginning, she is a teenager with a trapped mind. In the end of the story, she realizes that there is more to life than finding pleasure in alcohol and drugs. She becomes an individual, who wants to “suck out all the marrow of life”. She faces reality and gets a way better understanding of becoming a socially acceptable citizen.

Ellie is a representative of the message and the theme of the story. In the story, Ellie isn’t meant to be interpreted as an actual human being. She is a representation of the results of children growing up in the modern society as we know it nowadays. Nowadays the youth have all kinds of opportunities to succeed in life – but it’s important to mention, that it can be in a positive and negative. Ellie is an example of this. Can the youth really handle all these choices and possibilities, that the modern society offers? And which path is the right one to take, when there are so many available? This is one of the themes Anna Hope pins out and comes to the conclusion, that sometimes it’s the best choice to clean your mind from everything and take a long walk by the river and preserve the moment and most importantly; live in the present.

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