Anna Hope's Short Story: A Gap Of Sky

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A Gap of Sky Being an adolescent and dealing with the problems it brings are things every person must go through as they grow up to become an adult. Often, it marks both the most stressful and the most exciting time of a person’s life. Maybe even more so in our time and age, where the pressures of expectations and responsibility lurk in the mind of every young person, but also in a time where every option is within reach. Making sense of your life is difficult when you are young, as you are still in the process of creating yourself and finding your own meaning of life. These issues are also addressed in Anna Hope’s short story “A Gap of Sky” from 2008. At the start of the story, the 19-year-old main character Ellie has just woken up from sleeping.…show more content…
Here, she goes through several stages, all symbolised by something she meets on her way. The first thing she comes across is a glove. Her reaction to it is peculiar: “Life seems, suddenly, filled with possibility, (…) with irreverence, with delight” (page 3). She states her feelings of irreverence and rebellion towards her surroundings and complains about how her responsibilities have been shoved upon her all her life. It makes her realise her physical and mental freedom, but also opens her eyes to things not related to writing her essay. And so, she stumbles upon the next stage – she enters the British Museum, where an exhibition on life and death is held. Here, Ellie is overwhelmed by an all-dominating headache, leading her thoughts on the track of death. Her thoughts are primarily curses at her responsibilities and her urge to just be outside and walk, to be free. This represents Ellie’s wish to live and her fear of death, but also how it clashes with her situation as it is right now, how she isn’t in control of her own life. She hurriedly exits the museum to get rid of the pain, soon after noticing a gap of sky. It gives her an empty, vacant feeling. It is uncomfortable but necessary as it represents all of Ellie’s guilt and bitterness being washed away and making way for new discoveries about herself and her life. The gap of…show more content…
The city represents the modern society where people, despite living side by side are very distant to each other. In a big city, you are no one in particular, which forms questions in an individual such as “who am I” and “what do I live for”. The hurry and bustle of the city is commented on several times in the text, and that could be a way of characterising modern life, and how young people are constantly hurried and don’t have time and freedom to enjoy themselves. Most notable is the comparison “(…) the traffic, clotted like blood in the arteries nearing the heart of the city” (page 4), which is brutal, painting the bustle as eerie and uncomfortable. Even time itself is a theme in the story – Ellie’s deadline for her essay, the city, life and death and even Ellie’s journey in general are all marked by this, creating a timeless and dreamy atmosphere in contrast to the fast track of time in modern London. On the very last page, Ellie gains an ultimate understanding of life: “(…) everyone Ellie sees has the same substance within them, around them, connecting them, looping between them in great bonds of love” (page 5). The bustle isn’t just a clump of unknown people anymore, but individuals like herself. As soon as she sees her own worth and meaning, she starts seeing the same in others – because who are you if you don’t have anyone to reflect yourself

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