The Juggler Essay

1209 Words Apr 11th, 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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However, on the other side it creates a paradox and it is very ironic seen in relation to the mother’s prejudice towards Michael’s blindness. We do not see her from the outside. We only see her from the inside. In other words, we see her exactly as Michael would see her. This makes her a victim of a “blind reader”. It is a funny and interesting detail from the writer. Another paradox is the fact that the narrator plays the cello and when Zoe & Michael leaves and she finds herself in despair she listens to Vivaldi. It is funny how she finds comfort in something audial, music, when she sees Michael’s blindness as something finite, as the end of beauty.

Perhaps the most important symbol is, as the title suggests, the Juggler who sort of frames the story. At the beginning Michael, Zoe and the mother are going to the cinema. On their way to the cinema the narrator sees a man who juggles smilingly with a basin and some swords. Suddenly, he loses the basin and the narrator grasps Michael’s shoulder as were she frightened by the fact that the juggler had failed. At the end of the story the narrator sees the juggler again but this time she has got a new realization. She envies his fearlessness, “Whenever he drops something, he smiles and reaches down and juggles once again(…). And without fear. Fear of being ridiculed (…)” (ll. 111 – 216, p. 6) She also reflects on the fact that he allways juggles with two of one kind and one of

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