Gregory, by Panos Ioannides

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There are many meanings inside stories; “Gregory” by Panos Ioannides is a heart-wrenching short story that follows the protagonist through the execution of his friend. E.M. Forster explains a want to keep friendships strong even at the expense of one’s relation to one’s country. The main character in “Gregory”' has multiple thoughts showing a tie to what Foster explained, as well as the internal fight that happens when one has two forces pulling at one. The Narrator wants to follow his gut and skirt tragedy, but in the end he wants to save himself from his superiors. “Gregory” concerns the Narrator’s dealings with a prisoner of war named Gregory. In the beginning of the story Gregory has a gun pointed at him, which is being held by the Narrator; the story then jumps back to explain what led up to this point. Gregory is captured in order to try and combat the fact that one of the Narrator’s Lieutenants has also been captured. The Narrator has executed five people before Gregory finding that it is getting easier to execute prisoners; however, Gregory is different. Gregory is a very nice man, who does multiple things for the Narrator and considers him a friend. Gregory feels sure of this because they ate together. After the Lieutenant is executed the orders are given by headquarters to kill Gregory and hang him up as an example. The Narrator and other solders that are attached to Gregory try to allow him to escape in order to skirt the execution. Even though Gregory has multiple chances to escape, he decides against it because the soldiers are his friends and he considers being on the base a better situation. However, because Gregory does not escape the Narrator and other soldiers feel obligated to execute him. The ... ... middle of paper ... ...uld have that picture perfect happy ending as well. Unfortunately, that is not how life goes and this story demonstrates that well. One sincerely wants to see the Narrator chose his friend over his headquarters and it is extremely sad when that does not happen. When first reading the story I remember wanting the Narrator to put the gun down, unfortunately this is a very real story in which the main character is set on saving himself despite the fact that it is not what he wants to do in his heart. Though I would never be in this circumstance, I would hope to have the guts that Forster speaks of to stick with a friend rather than bend to the will of a larger entity. Works Cited Ioannides, Panos. “Gregory.” Across Cultures: a Reader for Writers. 3rd ed. Eds. Sheena Gillespie, and Robert Singleton. Needham Heights, NJ: Allyn and Bacon, 1996. 339-403. Print.

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