Human Condition In Saki's The Toys Of Peace

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English short stories are twisting tales that vividly depict the human condition. No exception to this point is Saki’s “The Toys of Peace.” This comical and insightful five-paged short story begins with a conversation between a mother named Eleanor Bope and her brother Harvey Bope about a newspaper article that describes a “new experiment” called “peace toys”. With the Easter holiday coming soon, the mother convinces her brother to buy peaceful toy figurines instead of toy soldiers for her two young boys—Eric and Bertie. The two adults realize their experiment has failed miserably after the boys utilize the “peace toys” as toy soldiers instead of for their intended use; this realization has a subtle message, which Saki masterfully designs, on the human condition. Though this story presents its message by means of innocent children who do not understand their aggressiveness, “The Toys for Peace” conveys to readers that people cannot change the belligerence inherent in humanity even if the one’s being subjected to change are at an…show more content…
Before even opening their uncle’s gift, Eric and Bertie are expecting to receive a set of either Albanian soldiery or a Somalian camel-corps (156). During the unwrapping of their Easter gifts, they notice an unfamiliar toy building. Eric expects the building to be a fort, while Bertie believes it to be the “palace of the Mpret of Albania” (156). Instead, Harvey dashes their hopes and desires by stating, “It’s a municipal dust-bin” (156). In addition to their grave disappointment, the boys find an unexpected surprise of peaceful toys. After Bertie first sees his uncle’s present, he becomes outwardly disappointed and expresses his dissatisfaction since he elevated his hopes up so highly (156). The combined reactions of the boys reveal their resolute warlike natures even though they are still young
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