Emil

All of your actions towards others, either positive or negative, can have big effects on your life in the future. This is a piece of wisdom that Morely learns in Stuart McLean’s ‘Emil’, a story about a homeless man’s encounters with Dave and Morely’s family. From the moment Morely meets Emil, she is empathetic of his situation. He is living on the streets and is being looked down upon by society. Morely often offers Emil money, but he only takes what he needs; he often says “I have enough. I have enough.” (111) This shows that Emil isn’t selfish; if anything, he is the exact opposite. When he wins the lottery, he first thing he does is donate over three quarters of it to the Heart of Christ Religious Supplies and Fax Services. Then, with all of the money he has left, he pays back everyone who has regularly given him money, including Morely. However, Emil gives no money to Dave, Morely’s husband, because Dave rarely helps Emil and often yells at him. Dave says “he’s making me crazy. He’s driving away business.” (109) Dave and Morely’s children, Sam and Stephanie, also believe that Morely shouldn’t be giving Emil money, which shows that Morely is the only one in her family who wants to help and believe in Emil. This is another reason why Emil gives Morely money, but holds little things such as overdue library books over Dave’s head. Eventually, Morely ends up with five hundred dollars from Emil, and Dave ends up owing Emil seven dollars. This shows that the action of choosing to give or not to give money to Emil greatly effects both Dave and Morely’s lives, something which Morely is sure to be aware of as well.

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