Monday, October 18, 2021

In the tunnel


Read Mavis Gallant's In the Tunnel this morning: a short story about a young Canadian woman (Sarah) who falls in love with an older man (Roy) and stays with him in "a low building that [she] thought was an Indian lodge." Roy's friends (Tim and Meg Reeve) own the place. They are used to Roy bringing many girls around. 

Started feeling irritated and angry towards Sarah for her unwise decision—why elope with an older man she hardly knows? 

Tita Mavis, always gracious and respectful to her characters (and we can learn from her example of understanding and suspending judgment), writes as the story winds down:

Her father would say it was all her own fault again. Why? Was it Sarah's fault that she had all this loving capital to invest? What was she supposed to do with it? Even if she always ended up sitting outside a gate somewhere, was she any the worse for it?

I know several friends and family who have made wrong decisions, leaving them with fatherless children and broken families. This story resonates with that theme: if love is in all the wrong places, it is love at all?

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