Almost everybody, who is old enough to understand what it means, have things in their lives that they regret. It can be something they said, did or even not said or not did. Sometimes you both regret and feel guilty about your actions. This can for instance be talking about someone behind his or her back, or doing something to someone that they will get hurt by. Often you regret something or feel guilty about it, if you know better than to do what you did. Sometimes you regret it afterwards, because you did not know at the time that it was wrong, but sometimes you know it right away, and you will regret it, if you see the negative consequences of it.
In “God’s Lift is Out of Order” the narrator is a black girl who lives in Kilburn, London. She has a childhood friend called Aaron. He played chess a lot and at 14 he became a nationally ranked player. Furthermore he can read music, write poetry, play piano and basketball and he can do maths. All in all he seems to be a clever boy, but his issue is, that his mother is mentally ill. Though Aaron seems to be a very talented boy, he does not know how to get out of his inheritance from his mother. Both Aaron and his brother starts taking drugs.
The narrator and Aaron used to be very close friend when they were younger. They would lie together in the narrator’s bedroom, pretending not to notice their legs were touching. They went to the movies with common friends to watch a thriller, and because Aaron and the narrator were not real Hampstead kids, they would walk home together. They had a lot of fun together as friend, and it seems like Aaron would like to take it a step further. He writes the narrator an anonymous letter on Valentines Day, but at this point the narrator has moved on. “But things were different now… and I saw more of Aaron’s older Brother.” LL 93-94. The narrator does not care as much about Aaron as before. They were great childhood friends, but now she has become an adult and has moved on from their childhood flirt. Aaron on the other hand seems to be stuck in the past.
The narrator has also got a boyfriend now, and she does not know how to have Aaron in her life also. She misses him, but at the same time she is very much in love with her new boyfriend. Instead of just telling her boyfriend that she misses Aaron, she chooses to ignore Aaron and to act like she does not care about him. This is exactly what bites her at the end. When the narrator finds out, that Aaron is dead, she becomes this terrible feeling of guilt and regret. Had she just been nicer to him the last time they spoke and had she just said how she really felt, this might not have happened. She knew about Aaron’s drug use, but she did not try to help him. The reason she regrets the most is, that she actually lied to him about her feelings. She would have liked to see him play piano, but she did not knew how to tell her new boyfriend. Now the narrator is left with the feeling that if she had said the truth, her old friend could still be alive.
The dream in the text shows, that there is something in the narrators subconsciousness that makes her think of Aaron. He was a big part of her life, but then she just moved on without really saying goodbye, and she feels very guilty about that. Therefore the themes in this story are regret and the feeling of guilt.
Richard Cory: Seems to be fine, but he is not. He has it all going, but still there is something he can’t live with. Like Aaron looses his good friend, Richard must have lost something, or he does not know how to make use of his life, like Aaron does not either.
Not waving but drowning: nobody hear the dead man waving for help. This might be compared to Aaron, who tries to wave at the narrator and get her help, but she does not notice that he is waving for help, but things he is just ‘waving’ like in this story.