Introduction

“Tight Corners” by E.V. Lucas, describes one of the most difficult situations faced by him and how he is saved from humiliation at an auction house by a sudden stroke of luck. There is a sense of relaxation at the end of this essay, when E.V. Lucas asks his friend whether his hair has turned white or not. It shows how difficult the situation has become for the narrator. This difficult situation is referred to as “Tight Corner” in the Essay.

An Auction

The story begins in a sale room at King’s Street, where an auction was going on. Barbizon pictures were getting sold with tremendous amount for each. Two thousand, three thousand were paid just for pictures containing things like forest scenes, pools at evening, shepherdesses, and the regular subjects.

The narrator had only sixty-three pounds in his bank and apart from that he had no knowledge about art pictures. Not understanding the event properly and the seriousness of the auction, Lucas started raising the bid amount.

Narrator’s Bad Luck

A Daubingy picture was put on sale for which a wealthy man bade four thousand guineas. On seeing the increasing values of pictures, the narrator raised the bid by fifty guineas more just out of fun. But to his bad luck, his picture had only few takers. Nobody came forward with a higher price and the auction price fell on him. This was the Tight Corner, in which Lucas was placed and apart from stress he also faced a great mental anguish.

Sensing the danger of the situation, Lucas’s friend left the place and he went to the first red-faced bidder and convinced him to get the picture from the narrator by offering fifty guineas. At such serious moment, the narrator had no other choice left with him and he decided to admit his foolishness to the auctioneer in order to get himself free from such a sensitive environment.

An Unexpected Incident

Suddenly, a man approached the narrator and said, “The gentleman who bade for four thousand guineas will give you fifty guineas and take the picture”. It was totally a sudden and unexpected incident for the narrator to believe. He was so relieved that he was about to weep in joy. At such a happy and overwhelming situation, the narrator did not forget to grasp the opportunity and demand a hundred guineas. He was extremely lucky at this point as his demand was fulfilled and a cheque for this amount was given to him and his joy was doubled.

At the end, the two things narrator could never forget about his friend was the fact that his friend was the one who took him to the auction and the other thing was the favour, which his friend did on him by convincing the red-faced man to offer fifty guineas to the narrator.

About the Author – Lucas

He was an English humorist, Essayist, Playwright, Biographer, Publisher, Poet, Novelist, Short Story writer and an editor. He was a prolific writer, mostly celebrated for his short essays, but he also produced verses, novels and plays as well.