A Gorilla in the Guest Room question and answers : aptness of the title


A Gorilla in the Guest Room 

Question : How apt is the title of the short story “A Gorilla in the Guest Room”?

Answer : The title of the story ” A Gorilla in the Guest Room ” is direct and suggestive as it prepares the reader for an exciting situation where a gorilla would be treated and taken care of as a guest.

     Gerald Durrell has decided to establish a zoo to conserve wild life, for this cause he chose to house those species which were endangered and threatened with extinction.

     Gerald knew that the gorillas might become extinct within the next twenty years, since the African government didnot concern to make any policy to protect wildlife in Africa.

     In such a situation , obtaining a gorilla for his zoo became his priority.

      He managed to collect twelve hundred pounds from the rich people of Jersey to buy a baby gorilla, N’Pongo.

     The gorilla, N’Pongo, was supposed to stay in his cage in the zoo but it was not ready.  The Wild animal is not expected to stay  in a house with humans but Gerald had no choice, he decided to keep N’Pongo in their guest room for a few days.

     N’Pongo’s child like nature and his deep black eyes had already impressed Gerald.  He says
“His eyes were small and deep – set, twinkling like chips of coal.” 

       and also-
“He lay back in my arms and studied me carefully withman unwinking stare…….”

  N’Pongo was both grave and courteous in his manners, which won over both Gerald’s wife Jacquie and his mother. Even his staff treated him like a royal Guest. He says –
” he was lolling back on the sofa while they plied him with delicacies, and the staff came upstairs one by one to pay homage to him as if he were some black potentate. “

  Like a professor in a museum, he took a round of the room to examine anything of interest for him.
” he walked slowly round like a black professor in a museum….. but doing it so gently that there was never any danger that he would break anything. “

   It was when the gorilla stayed in their room that Gerald and his family and staff could observe N’Pongo’s behaviour. He became so much a part of their lives that Gerald’s mother was trying her best  to convince him ” to keep him in the house permanently. ” 

Therefore  “A Gorilla in the Guest Room” is an apt title as his stay there builds up the love and closeness that he shared  with everybody.

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