Although Charlie, the narrator in the short story “A New Kind of Gravity,” by Andrew Foster Although, is one of the armed security guards at Shyer Safe House, a safe house for women and children with abusive husbands and fathers. Surprisingly, Charlie takes his Job as a security guard very seriously and wishes he could do more for the residents due to his old fiancé©e, who was abused by her ex-boyfriend. This engages Charlie emotionally to the patients.
His heart breaks every time a husband comes to pick up his wife and kids from the shelter, knowing that they will return usually with cent marks providing that the household never really changed. Andrew Thulium’s “A New Kind of Gravity uses symbolism, flashback, and setting to portray and embedded meaning to his short story. Latch’s use of setting is impeccable because he portrays characters through places and set the mood instantly. “A New Kind of Gravity” opens up with an eerie setting at Charlie’s Job. Although describes an ally where he and his colleague smoke cigarettes at night and watch patients on monitors.
The author portrays an ominous scene when he describes the ally, he says if she looked back at the nights security tapes, saw the steel door propped open with a brick, the two of us leaning against the outside wall like we were on school recess – she’d have no choice, everyone knows that. (Page 368). ” At this point the reader doesn’t know what is going to happen, however he pulls the reader Into the story more because the reader Is curious. Through symbolism, Although portrays a different perspective about the Shyer House and also gives a hint about Charlie’s lifestyle.
His use of symbolism is subtle, but it draws attention to the underlying meaning of this short story. For example, from the passage above, the steel door propped open by a brick represents the caged life that the abused women are living in while Charlie represents the brick because he is seen to be their light to the way out. This is Ironic because when Although first introduces Charlie into the story, he gives a little background Information about the women that he used to date. For some odd reason, he always used to date abused women like those at the shyer House. For a while it seemed every woman I dated had an ex who hit. For some reason it was unpredictable, a kind of reflex – the hard shove in the middle of a fight, he drink thrown against the wall; for other it would be premeditated, methodical. It started with Teresa, my old fiancé©e. Soon after she moved in with me, she told her about her ex. How he used to cry while he wrapped a towel around his fists so he wouldn’t bruise her. (370)” I think that they sought him out of the crowd because he could “save” them from a horrible life. However, they just couldn’t save themselves.
The women at Shyer house are there because they can’t fix their relationships or leave their partner. So, they go to the safe house, which is more or less an insane asylum in hopes to better themselves. Lustful describes the house as dead with a lousy excuse for life by saying: “There are meeting rooms on the second and fourth floors with big, Industrial ash cans that are always overflowing. There’s the dingy Tanta moor Slacken, Ana mere ten root. But to get tenure you nave to walk clown tense sad hallways, posters of Paris and the Grand Canyon, “One day at a time” in flowing letters across a sunrise (page 368). Although is trying to portray the hope that Charlie wants for these women. However, these brightly colored posters are in dingy and dull places. These subtle descriptions imply that these women’s lives are lifeless because they have no control over themselves, while Charlie represents the colored posters because he is trying to show them that there is hope and that they Just need to believe in themselves. Charlie notices that the women walk around the halls like ghosts in their white night gowns and their “sleepless faces in the windows above, staring out at the shabby buildings,”(Page 369).
Through Latch’s use of setting, it allows the reader to think that these women have no hope and that they are “brain- washed” and that their minds are restricted. By looking out the window, it allows the reader to feel hope for the women to break free into the unknown world. It almost seems like these women and children are staring out into the free world because it’s something that they can’t have, but deep down really want. Like these women in Shyer House, Charlie’s ex Teresa, was also abused.
Although fills the reader in about Charlie’s past life through his use of flashback. “l heard so many of these stories they stopped surprising me. I didn’t know what it as about me that attracted women who’d been with such people. I’d have dreams about running into the guy on the street, mashing his face in the pavement. This was when I still worked at the mall, id find myself taking it out on some stupid shoplifter, pinning him to the wall by his neck. (371)” This passage makes it seem as if Charlie had been abusive to women when he was younger.
However, other passages conclude that he is very protective over the Shyer House women and children. For example at the climactic point Charlie hits the husband of Marina, a woman who he started to catch feelings for. He dos this because he is very protective over her and her daughter and doesn’t want to see them keep returning to the awful lives that they live. He wants to show them how different and sweet life can be. Through out the story, Although gives hints to the reader to show the reader that the women at Shyer House aren’t Just hopeless.