Structure

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Beginning

The exposition introduces the setting and the characters of the story as the narrator recounts the events that led to the family renting their room to the foreign man. The family is currently comprised of the mother, the father, and Vera. They live in a basement flat and the parents are renting out their son’s room because he is gone at sea . The fact that the building does not allow Irish people for fear of terrorist attacks foreshadows Rad’s affiliation w…

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Middle

The rising action is set in motion by Vera going out to the discotheque and getting drunk. When she returns home, Rad, their new lodger, helps her get cleaned up and calms her down. Vera feels very ashamed to appear drunk in front of him because she believes him to be of a different religion, most probably Muslim (152-153), and therefore thinks he does not consume alcohol. She underlines the difference between “his kind” and “one of her own”. In that moment she feels inferior to him and his culture.

After the incident, the man becomes the target of Vera’s interest. Rad becomes less reserved, no longer referring to Vera as “miss”, and the two begin to share a sort of complicity where Rad does not tell Vera’s parents about her getting drunk. Their complicity foreshadows their future relationship and Rad making Vera unknowingly responsible for the plane crash.

When they introduce themselves, Rad tells Vera that “ ‘Our names are hard for you, here. Just call me Rad’ ”. This foreshadows the fact that he is trying to conceal his identity and hide the truth about himself. Also, it could foreshadow his hidden contempt regarding Westerners.

A tension point is created when Vera strikes up a conversation with Rad. She has an internal conflict as she speaks with him, feeling like she does not want to go to the pub anymore. A change happens within her, and she seems to try to appeal to Rad and change his perception of her after he has seen her drunk: “She could not go to the pub; she could not let him know that was where she was going. …

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Ending

The falling action begins with Vera announcing her pregnancy and future marriage with Rad to her parents. You may also see this point in the story as the classic rite of passage where a young innocent girl moves into adulthood in the shape of sexuality, marriage, and pregnancy. The parents are shocked and displeased, creating tension in the story; they ultimately accept the situation mainly because “There was a baby to be born, poor innocent”. The line also foreshadows the loss of innocent lives in the terrorist attack.

A tension point emerges when Rad tells Vera that he wants her to travel to his country to meet his parents. This event triggers a lot of changes in attitude. Vera feels like she will finally accomplish her dream to travel. She also becomes proud of her pregnancy. The parents also appreciate this, as it makes them seem modern and it shows that they have enough money to afford travelling to foreign countries: “a son-in-law who was not one of their kind became a distinction rather than a shame”.

Rad’s reluctance to host a farewe…

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