Essay about The Juggler

1226 Words May 10th, 2014 5 Pages
The Juggler

“I want to believe in faith and risk and a world where you can stand beneath the grey October sky and flash your own colours through the air like a magician” (218 -221, p. 6). These beautiful lines constitute the final conclusion of the short story, “The Juggler”, written by Ursula Hegi and published in 2001. The story deals with themes such as beauty, letting go and being stuck in the past.

The short story takes place in Coeur d’ Alene in the first weekend of October. An unnamed first person narrator tells the story of her daughter, Zoe and her boyfriend, Michael who have come to visit her. It is the first time she meets Michael, who is a counsellor at the school where her daughter teaches. They go to the cinema and on
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Other times I felt like I were eleven and she thirty”(ll. 91 – 92, p. 3). The mother almost bursts into self-oscillation when she tells Michael about her memories with Zoe. This could lead to the conclusion that Zoe is used to taking responsibility for other people and, seen from a homespun psychological point of view, perhaps likes the fact that Michael reminds her of her mother in the way that he needs her. Another result of the mother’s loneliness and dependency on her daughter is the fact that she cannot let her go. She lives in the past and loves the memories of a time she refuses to leave, nor can she ever leave it unless she accepts the fact that Zoe is now a grown up. She has her own life now. The bird has flown.
So maybe she should just handle her over to Michael. After all he is not a maniac killer or anything. He seems rather nice and Zoe really loves him, but the narrator simply is too jealous to be happy for her daughter, “Zoe turns, smiling at him with so much light in her eyes that I have to look away” (ll. 74 – 75, p. 3).

The writer leaves, in a very discrete but intelligent and awfully interesting way, many symbols and details for further interpretation. For instance, a visual description of the narrator has been left out. Therefore, she appears as a set of thoughts, which on one side means that the events that take place in the story often are

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