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The passage A Gift by Rahila Gupta depicts a memory of a man reflecting about a relationship.

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Introduction

The passage "A Gift" by Rahila Gupta depicts a memory of a man reflecting about a relationship. It is a bitter and sad memory, as it starts off by describing the woman as an 'ultimate egoist' who does not have the right to give him 'the gift'. The whole passage only uses pronouns when referring to the woman, giving a sense of detachment, further reinforcing his anger towards her. The passage portrays how everything, especially relationships, cannot be forced or rushed. This idea is conveyed through characterization, action and style. The characterization of both the woman and man shows how they cannot form a couple. The first time the two meet, the woman already conveys a striking personality. She "diminished everyone by [her] appearance, [her] personality clearing a path for [her]." Out of all those people in the room, the man focuses on her only, spotting details like "her fiery commitment to her politics" and how "she spoke not fluently but in a rush." The surprising thing is that although she is committed to politics, her speeches are not fluent. Perhaps she is a new recruit whom is nervous at facing crowds of people. ...read more.

Middle

The man is also a politician and shows how he can effectively avoid the subject. When the woman questions him about her nose, he chooses to ask her back about the shape of his shoulders. The art of avoiding things may be useful in his career but in a relationship, that is a very dangerous thing. Women typically like emotional feedback from men but the man's love of impersonal makes the relationship seem out of place. Furthermore, he is extremely talkative and anxious. Even when they are simply playing a game of scrabble, the "words shrank on the Scrabble board as they grew and rioted inside [his] mouth." He is so attached to his political world that he simply cannot resist the urge to talk about anything, from his 'mother' to 'past loves'. Also, after he had made a "declaration of love", his "head began to ache with an infinite series of interpretations." He is like the kind that cannot wait for an answer and simply comes up with one. The two people obviously have very different personalities, reinforcing the point that they cannot form a couple. ...read more.

Conclusion

Moreover, the use of Scrabble is symbolic of the nature of their relationships. It is a game of chance, where nobody can predict the next move. Anything can change, or in other words, life 'scrabbles' you. In conclusion, this passage has effectively shown how life is full of unexpected things. It warns people to not hastily start a relationship until you have grasped the personality of your mate. The couple worked hard and tried to form a long-term relationship but in the end they were simply not suitable for one another. Despite that, the passage also serves as a reminder of the significance in not giving up. The woman comforts the narrator, telling him that he has to learn from the experience. Those that have never failed have never tried anything new and so the last sentence "make good use of it" has a very deep meaning. It could suggest that the narrator should remember the pain and never start another relationship but I believe that it refers to the point that you never know what is going to happen tomorrow. The narrator has obviously not yet grasped the true meaning behind the woman's parting words but they are in essence very valuable, a gift. ...read more.

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