To be united with many, and still feel so alone In the vastness of great cities – a feeling many can relate to. Every man and woman wakes up, steps out into world, making their way through the endless clutter of human beings, each one with a vast amount of goals, that must be achieved and destinations that must be reached. Part of “growing up” has, in stereotypical fashion, been said to be to accept this reality; the reality of having to check off the “to-do-list” every day. It might only be a luxury of youth that one can refrain from this, and let ones Instinctive ambition and desires ale.
To be controlled by the Immediate wants and thoughts of one’s mind and heart. This is exactly what Elli, the main character of “A Gap of Sky’, by Anna Hope, does. Engulfed by the city, and its pulsating, never-ending tempo the reader follows the young Elli in her simple goal of purchasing some computer ink. On her quest though, she is taken over by sudden urges and curiosity. She lets herself sway away from her path. Elli is a 19 year old girl, living the carefree and extreme life, in the buzzing city of London.
One assumes she Is studying English at some sort of university, due to the fact her mall goal for the day Is to write an essay on Virginia Wolf. As she lies in her bed, the reader meets her waking up from a crazy night on the town, “enriched” with alcohol and drugs. She regrets nothing and seems to be living the life, where every moment is precious and must be enjoyed to the fullest. Suddenly she realizes it is Monday, and the harsh realities creep up upon her. She must write and hand In this essay the next day, but she has no printer Ink.
So she sets herself the goal of buying the printer Ink, and thereafter writing the essay. It Is a bright, sunny, yet cold day, that wraps her body and hurts her lungs, as she scatters through the city in search for a computer store. She is overwhelmed by all the impressions, and seduced by her curiosity she wonders off her path. In an odd exhibition of some sort her head begins to throb. The pain brings about a sense fear, desperation and despair in her. The concept of death begins to dance in her consciousness. She seeks out a river, to relieve her from this agonizing pain.
On her way she begins to feel better, and following a stranger she enters a store of some sort. There she picks up a little stone: a stone that brings about a melancholic sensation in her. She begins to reminisce about her mother, who the summer before had given Elli a stone like this one, for good luck. She repeats her mother’s name to herself, picturing her in her head, which make her feel lighter, alive and beautiful. A feeling she hopes the world can see. She wants to share it with the world. Walking out onto the street again, she sees how, all around people are Interconnected by the bond of love, that she herself feels.
Skirting away again, remembering her need for imputer-ink, she once again makes her way through the city. She has though, not forgotten the river, she searches a terrace from where she can admire it. The night above receives her, and she at the end notes to herself all her goals, and how all is good. The narrator is a third person-omniscient, using the narrative technique; “stream of consciousness”, a technique the writer and feminist Virginia Wolf used In many AT near works I Is . N “stream” casts ten reader In many alertness, Owe to Ell being very distracted and unfocused.
This technical reference to Virginia Wolf could e considered an inter-textual element. It could be a result of ingesting drugs – she changes her focus by the second, for example; “Monday. It is Monday. Essay there is an essay due, important, due for Tuesday morning (… )” and so on. Her thoughts are hurriedly rushed through. The narration Jumps from subject to subject, as if one were inside the head of the young Elli. It is chaotic and frantic, much like the city of London, which is the setting of the story. It could be concluded that this is the author’s purpose.
Her mind is dark, and almost lacks a sense of structure, much like en could say about a big busy city, like London. Elli is constantly on the move, drawing parallels to the pulsating city. Her attitudes towards things seems rebellious, exemplified by her content and giggle when she sees a glove on a fence, flicking the world off. She does not feel accountable to anyone. The exhibition she stumbles upon has the theme “Living and Dying”, a theme is very precedent throughout the story. She does not feel ready to die; she is alive, and grateful to be so. The city does though have a power over her.
It can both bring her down and up again. At one moment the city brings about fear, and sadness in her, making her feel “nasty, brutish, and short” (A. Hope, pig. 4 1. 8). As her headache passes, light is cast down onto the street, leaving her feeling rancid and worn. She realizes how short and precious life is. An epiphany described as a “Gab in the sky’. Making her way to the river, representing a crossroad in her life, she is faced with a choice. She can either drown herself in the cities murky river, like Virginia Wolf did, who is referred to earlier in the story. Or she can wash herself clean -clean from drugs.