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This story revolves around the high rate of unemployment which causes frustration and stress to the people. James is the main character on the story. As a young and ambitious graduate, he hopes for a brighter future from his academic achievements. His family has high expectation from him, and no one can imagine the tragedy that later befalls him. The story attracts different reactions about the current state of jobless youths. It revolves around their dying hopes and the unending societal expectations of the people. The story brings out the need to arm prospective graduates with other life skills that can provide an alternative source of income.
James is the protagonist in this story and represents the jobless people. Several stylistic devices like symbolism, rhetoric questions, imagery and suspense are in use in order to develop the plot of the story. The neighbors and the unrelenting landlord portray the individualism and insensitivity nature of the society. Mona and James parents represent day to day needs and responsibilities. The dove signifies the search of peace and rest in his life.
NO PAIN LIKE THIS BODY
James takes a short stroll in order to pass the time. He walks from his house to the neighboring woods hoping to push away his nagging thought. For many months, he was in search of a job, but all his efforts have proven to be fruitless. All the pharmaceutical companies and other prospective employers dismiss his applications with regret letters of “no vacancy, please try again later”. The thought of going back to the country side is almost unbearable. His family has high expectations of him as he is the only one with formal education. James is the first born. His family is full of hopes that the city will provide him with a well paying job which will soon alleviate their poverty. Woe unto them, James is miles back towards achieving his dream job after graduating with an honorary degree in analytical chemistry three years back.
A dove cooing for its mate wakes him out of his reverie and jolts him back to the present. He dreads facing his problems yet they keep on stalking him like a hungry leopard only to pounce when he least expects it. “Surely what did I do to deserve this?" Is it a fate or am I purely unlucky?” James ponders on the pending bills, his sickly girlfriend, and his aging parents whose hopes on he must not disappoint. All the years of working extremely hard and early rising like the early bird who must catch the worms before they hibernate from predators and scorching sun. Surely God must be watching and doing nothing about this!
The world still goes by with not even the slightest care on the hunger, sufferings and tribulations that James is facing. The careless laughter of well fed wives of prominent people sings in his ears. Their immense shopping trolleys loaded with cancerous and forbidden goods. The baskets full of fruits of impunity and the vast glamorous homes and grand cars are alive in his eye. Even their children attend prestigious schools. His future seems bleak, with the current economy he curses, the politicians about his misfortunes. Yet man must live.
Mona, James girlfriend was at first understanding. However, she is jobless and faces similar predicament with James. His girlfriend is sick of his excuses. She curses, threatens to quit, swears and belittles James at every opportunity. James loves her so much, but her behavior drives him to the wall. When Mona is not sulking, she is suicidal, and James has a serious concern about her deteriorating health. Somehow he hopes to restore her previous glory.
James effort to balance his life demands with no job and a pile of the unpaid bill is almost impossible. It overwhelms him so much that he starts thinking of committing crimes. Unfortunately, his conscience bother him: If he becomes a thief he might face death, prostitution leads to diseases. He can not go back to the village as his parent had to sell all their cows and their land so as to give him education.
The landlord consistently ignores pleas to repair the dangerously hanging rails on James balcony. He argues that James has to clear the arrears first. On reaching the house, he finds the landlord trying to put another bigger padlock on his small rusty padlock James few belongings and Mona’s were on a small heap at the small corridor. Neighbors were watching the unfolding drama of a graduate who was unable to raise his rent for six consecutive months. Some of them even were scorning him for his inability to feed his extremely thin and sickly girlfriend. Young children could not control their laughter about the low status of his few belongings. No one could understand the pain that these moments were causing him.
After the confrontation, James storms out of the house in full rage, frustrations and hopelessness. In his blind stance, he loses his balance. Unaware of the imminent danger from faulty rails of the building he clings to them for support. The faulty rails suddenly give way and ten floors below; the ground prepares to receive the body of poor James.