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Angels

  • Date Submitted: 12/25/2010 02:15 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 55.1 
  • Words: 467
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In the short story “A Patchwork Planet”, angels are repeatedly mentioned. For this reason, they add an important dimension to the meaning of the story, a point which will be further explored in this text.
The Gaitlins strongly believe in the existence of angels, as shown by the framed written accounts of the events being preciously kept in Barnaby’s parents’ house. These beliefs lead the family members to actively look for clues about an angel’s advent, or to attribute any special event to their doing. However, Barnaby has not yet found his even though all Gaitlins have one. This exception shows how investing large amount of effort to find what we are looking is not necessarily a better way of achieving that goal as letting life take its natural course. Various conditions must be met in order to be successful. Hard-work is not always rewarding, since luck is mandatory for success either on the financial level – like Jeff and Barnaby’s grandfather – or on a personal achievement level – like Barnaby. In many ways in this story, angels are paradoxes; although they bring good luck to the Gaitlins, their appearances are unpredictable and ultimately result from chance. Thus, the encounter with these supernatural beings can be accounted for luck or for the simple fact that the Gaitlins believe they should all have angels. Therefore, angels are not the start of good luck in life, they are merely events that reinforce the way we see the world. They bring to us what we are looking for.

Following Barnaby’s paternal grandfather’s meeting with his angel, the family became wealthy. Jeff’s angel allowed him to avoid bankruptcy. Because of these beneficial past experiences, the Gaitlins cling onto their idea of angels because the latter brought good luck with them. However, Barnaby does not bear the same attitude toward his financial situation as his family: he does not work at the foundation, he works at Rent-a-Back and he owes his parents money. Thus, his personality is in...

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