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"the Royal Flush" Analytical Essay

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The Royal Flush

The short story “The Royal Flush” by Lori Pollock illuminates a young human beings belief in wanting to help changing the world for the better. An intentional travel down to Dhaka, Bangladesh opens this young girls eye to the different cultures, beliefs and values existing with its contrasts. It also shows how high expectations can be pealed down when reality sets in.

“The Royal Flush” is about a young farmer girl called Lindsey, who is saying farewell to her father over a dinner. She is saying farewell, because she is going to Bangladesh as a part of her study were she is assigned to a sustainability project as fieldwork, which is a requirement for her study in globalization and development. Even though she had wished for a women’s project in Tanzania, her excitement rapidly increased when she arrived in Bangladesh. The grad student J.P., who she befriends in Bangladesh, gets Lindsey started at The Commemorative Estates, where Lindsey has to install toilets to her surprise. Furthermore, Lindsey starts working and befriends several local women and is going to end her trip with a party. Unluckily the party does not turn out as she hoped because of the grounds that the clearly better off landlord shows up and greets Lindsey. The project is finished, which means for the inhabitants to move on to somewhere cheaper, and owing to the different customs they does not show up to Lindsey’s party.

Lindsey is young girl with moral and a wish to make a difference and help where she can. Her intentions are good and she has a care for the world and its development, which as an example shows on the restaurant, because she is vegetarian even though it might be all right to eat meat from time to time. She is a youngster with high expectations and hopes for her life and maybe these expectations and hopes are a bit to high for reality. Notwithstanding, Lindsey has lost her mother and it is clear that the loss still has an impact on her:  

“The familiar odour of onions and garlic and ginger frying in ghee wafted out of Priya’s open door followed closely by cumin, coriander, and cardamom. She closed her eyes, breathing deeply. The smell of garlic never failed to conjure her mother, and it had taken more than a few days to stifle the grief the pungent air provoked in her.”[1]

The smell of garlic intubating with the food that one of the women are cooking reminds her of her mother, which clarifies that Lindsey is still suffering from her loss. In the same way Lindsey cannot look her father in the eyes when he mentions her mother at the dinner.[2] Meantime, Lindsey is a very caring person and does not take things light or unrewarded. She does not want to be carried around on the rickshaw, because it seems to her like an animal pulling her. This emphasizes how Lindsey does not look down on other people, but has a mutual feeling about humanity. On the contrary, J.P, who is a grad student working together with Lindsey as a helper on the project, seems more individual and more down to earth with what is realistic. It is to assume that he has been in Bangladesh for longer since Lindsey mentions his conspicuous tan and he seems more adapt of the life in the community in Bangladesh. J.P. and Lindsey can be understood as contrasts of each other in the way Lindsey is an idealist while J.P is more of a realist, while they still have the same good and helping intentions.  Lindsey’s hopes of the work she is going to execute in Bangladesh is being brought down by J.P. when he shows her, that se has to install toilets. Her disappointment does not stop J.P. from commercialise the toilets, which she has to install:

“Composting toilets. Sewerage coverage is vital, and these require neither water nor electricity to get the job done… It’s an amazing opportunity to support sustainable development. This will revolutionize their lives!”[3]

This quote indicates the irony that flourished through the short story, because of the high hopes that Lindsey has of the trip. She wants to carry out miracles in the world, but ends up installing eco-toilets. The party that Lindsey is establishing has the same outcome, when the women she thought that she bonded with does not show up. Lindsey does not see the contrast between her and the local women. Lindsey is there to work and she wants to change lives, but the women and locals are there to work for a living until they have to move on to somewhere cheaper. The landlord of the community is a reflection of inequality, which is clearly indicated, when the landlord comes and visits the finished project:

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