We are free to choose our own destiny. Or are we? Especially as a teenager you search for answers to everything. Finding out what you stand for and how you want to live your life is part of the process of becoming a grown up. However, it is not always as easy as it sounds. In the western world, we are free to choose our own education, our life companion, the place we want to live, the place we want to work, what we want to vote for and a lot of things that our great-grandparents never dreamt of.
But which path should we choose? In the short story “A Gap of Sky” written by Anna Hope in 2008, the main character Ellie is roaming around in the streets of London and in her own mind as well. Her walk around London’s streets becomes a walk through her own mind.
The short story is told from a third person narrator and from the nineteen years old main character Ellie’s point of view.
The reader only gets an insight into the story through Ellie’s thoughts. The short story is told with a stream of consciousness technique that illustrates the way Ellie thinks. The story is full of bad language and swearwords, rhetorical questions and incoherence for example, “Fuck” (p. 2, l. 2, l. 16, l. 26, p. 3, l. 41), “Jesus” (p. 2, l. 11) and, “what, really, was there to be reverent to? To whom? To what? To why? To God? To Mum? To Dad?” (p. 3, ll.
64-65). This tells us how Ellie normally speak. The use of stream of consciousness also demonstrates what Ellie is like when she does drugs. The writing style is even more free-associating, jumpy and incoherent when she is on drugs, “Nice, now. Coffee. Swill out cafeti?re, fill it. Computer. Is On. Fags· Student shop. She could always score some more, too; see if Jez is about. Good plan [·] Anything else? Of course: printer, printer’s out of ink” (p. 2, ll. 32-36). It is nearly impossible for the reader to get a hang of what she is talking about.
Ellie does drugs, drinks and wakes up half a day too late, barely remembering the night before. She is addicted to drugs and drugs are one of the first things that come to her mind as she wakes up. Also, she seems very untidy as she wakes up with clumps of yellow in her eye lashes and her make-up from the night before. She decides that the collegial-hall is too cold to get into and instead of going to the bathroom, she pees in the sink. All of this shows that she lives a rough and harsh life where she doesn’t take very good care of herself. One of the reasons why it is critical that she has overslept this particular morning is that she has an assignment about Virginia Wolf due for the next day. She has already postponed the assignment once…
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