Insignificant Gestures

In: English and Literature

Submitted By MAZA
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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 flashbacks from his past. By the flashbacks we also get an insight of the reasons behind the cause of the narrator’s emotional trauma. Two different errors of judgements is the cause behind the trauma. Our narrator made these errors 10 years ago back in Africa, when he was a volunteer doctor. After his ten years of services in Africa he moved back to Britain, but not as a doctor – he changed his work to psychiatry. He did not leave his traumatic experience in Africa and cannot forgive himself. Before his misjudgements he had a passion for drawing, but now he is afraid of the places his mind will be when he draws. He also suffers from insomnia and anxiety “Even now, when a passing lights up my wall I jerk awake with hot rivulets of anxiety running through my limps” (ll. 74-75) all this is the consequences Africa has left him – but he has not always been like this. Before his misjudgements he was a hedonist man who believed that progress is success and that through is job as a doctor could change the world. He saw the good in the less developed continent. He stayed positive through his work and believed that he did his best. He had a romantic idealised image of this underprivileged…...

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