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A Gap of Sky

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A Gap of Sky (2008) is a short story written by Anna Hope, and it is about the young woman Ellie, who has to write an essay before the deadline. The short story deals with Ellie's and in fact also our present society's feeling of emptiness and how we try to replace this emptiness with much less tenable solutions.

The short story is written in the present tense with a 3rd person omniscient narrator in the main character's point of view. This makes us able to follow the storyline closely and get a good look into Ellie's mentality and her way of life.

As readers we especially feel the busyness and the rush throughout the language. It follows Ellie's actions and her thoughts, which pass by very hastily as the storyline also only takes place in about an hour. At several points in the short story the language gets distinctly fragmentary with passages of very short sentences following Ellie's confused line of thought. This can for example be seen on page 2, lines 32-33: Nice, now. Coffee. Swill out cafetière, fill it. Computer. Is. On. Fags.. Student shop. Here we see how Ellie's thoughts shift from point to point as she somehow talks to and directs herself inside her own head, while the language follows this. This also increases the use of slang, swearwords and everyday like language, e.g. fuck, shit, fags or "K". At points, where the language is also very descriptive, it is still fragmentary and the sentences and passages are somehow very bumpy and coarse. This also indicates a rough tone and rhythm in the language, which for example can be seen in this sentence: There are clumps of black in the corner of her eyes, clumps of yellow lacing her lashes, like frost, like thick yellow eyefrost that came in the night (p. 2, ll. 8-10). In this example we see a very high pace, which also characterizes Ellie's actions.

The rough use of language also compliments the surroundings and especially the main character very much. Ellie is a very confused and impulsive kind of person, who tries to convince herself that she's only living the life and shouldn't respect any authorities. She says it directly in the text, as she declares that she feels no reverence to anyone: (...) for what, really, was there to be reverent to? To whom? To what? To why? To God? To Mum? To Dad? Not them, especially not them (p. 3, ll. 64-66). This shows that she is and wants to be on her own and wants to control her own life, which she obviously can't. She has lost faith in anything that would in earlier times have increased the meaningfulness of people's lives.

It seems that Ellie is more into partying and doing drugs than minding her school, and that's the reason why she must now hurry through the city to get ink for her printer. As she hurries through town, we see that everything else but getting ink for the printer attracts her attention; she visits the British Museum, walks into a random shop, glimpses the river and must have a look at it. She constantly changes her direction, and at the same time she also constantly changes her mood - at first she encourages herself to feel that she is absolutely free and can do whatever she wants. Then almost right after, a throbbing starts in her head and she starts worrying about death.

This constant changing of direction and mood is somehow a very typical sign of Ellie's inner emptiness. She tries to fill up her life and her emptiness with parties, alcohol and drugs, but she only ends up feeling miserable.

Inside the shop, which she randomly walks into, she is reminded of how her mother once gave her a little orange stone, which she only took for granted and threw away. Now finding an equal stone, she is filled with



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