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By Peter G. Hansen, 3.W
The text as I see it has two themes: Homosexuality and society today (in the nineties). The relationship between Jaz and Tony as depicted in the story clearly shows that a homosexual relationship in many ways resembles a heterosexual relationship. Jaz and Tony have their occasional disputes as would any other couple - everything is normal. Yet they face some problems other couples would not. For example, it seems that Jaz has no contact (at least not very much) with his family anymore. This sudden loss of contact with his family must come as a great surprise to him as he reacts very strongly to it. We are never told why Jaz\' family did not contact him that Christmas, but my guess would be that they did it on purpose, maybe by order of the father who was very much against Jaz moving in with Tony. As we know that Jaz and Tony have lived together for almost three years, this must be the first year Jaz does not hear from his family. If it was not, I do not think he would be as upset as he is.
The way Tony responds to Jaz shows that Tony does not find it easy to express his feelings toward Jaz. He thinks that trying to comfort him would cause a worse temper whereas I believe that Jaz would like some words of consolation. Of course Tony knows Jaz better than I do, but most people like some comforting when they are upset about something.
(In the following paragraphs I presume that the city referred to in the text is London. This may not be correct, but I know of no other English city with an Underground).
Miss Massey and her situation is not unusual in London. There are many destitute people living on a day-to-day basis just like herself. We Danes are not used to seeing homeless people walking around in the streets here in Denmark, but in London this is a normal sight. Some of them have chosen to live their life in the streets (just like our "bag ladies"), but the majority has been forced to live in the streets because of their financial situation. We are not directly told whether Miss Massey has chosen to live in the streets herself or has been forced to do so because of her financial situation, but I have a feeling that it is her own choice. She never complains about her life or the system, she seems to be very satisfied with her life as it is. Her only problem is that she is sick. That is not unusual at her age, but in her case it is probably because she has lived in the streets for such a long time. The rough weather taxes any person\'s health, especially if one is getting on in years.
The picture of society as presented in the text gives us a very realistic picture of London today. The description of the homeless is very matter-of-fact, nothing is embellished to make it sound better than it actually is. Miss Massey lives in a cupboard in an Underground station. She is lucky - many people do not have a roof over their head at all. They have to sleep in the streets and beg for money to live for. This is one of the things that characterizes London: The destitute people. You see them on every corner and in every back alley in London. Miss Massey has lived in the street for many years. This is another thing which characterizes many larger cities. Once you are without a roof over your head, you stay that way forever. We see the same thing happening everywhere in the world today. More and more people are without a home today, and most of them will stay that way if not for the rest of their lives then for a very, very long time.
A thing which is not depicted in the story is how homosexual couples are looked upon in general. This varies quite a lot from country to country, but in most countries gay couples are not welcome everywhere. I do not know how the situation is in England,
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