Character sketch of Norman Gortsby in "Dusk."

Character sketch of Norman Gortsby in “Dusk.”

Character sketch of Norman Gortsby in “Dusk.”

Character sketch of Norman Gortsby in “Dusk.”
A rather supercilious man, Norman Gortsby, sits on a bench in Hyde Part amidst “the defeated” and yet does not consider himself the same since he is without money problems.  His failure, one “in a more subtle ambition,” is perhaps in the area of love.  In his disillusionment, he cynically amuses himself with passing judgments on people who traverse the park.  And, he feels confidence in these judgments.  For instance, Gortsby perceives an elderly gentleman next to him as one who has never commanded respect in his life.  Now he is probably isolated either by being ignored in a home or by himself in a lodging. As soon as this old gentleman leaves, a young man seats himself in a flurry next to Gortsby, who obligingly takes notice. Of course, while the young man speaks of his misfortunes, the cynical Gortsby gives him no credence.  He tells the young man of the flaw in his story,”…the weak point of your story is that you can’t produce the soap,” a detail which he says was a convincing one. But, in his smugness, he is defeated by Chance which puts the soap on the ground near the park bench.  Discovering it after the man has departed, and believing it to be the young man’s, Gortsby chides himself for being presumptuous and runs after the young man.  With apologies for his disbelief, Gortsby hands the young man the soap.After he returns to the bench, Gortsby sees the elderly gentleman searching around the bench for his lost soap.  Gortsby is defeated a second time in an illusion. Now, he truly belongs on the bench in the twilight.