Two Gentlemen of Verona: Summary and Analysis
“Two Gentleman of Verona”, is a heart touching story of two young lads of Verona written by A J Cronin. Cronin recounts his visit to Verona where he came across these two lads whose lives had been devastated by a war. The war had taken away their father and left them homeless. One poor sister that they had was ill with tuberculosis. Cronin’s story is written in the form of a memoir and he proves through the story of these two young fellows that any human can win if he does not lose hope. The two young boys have not just taken over all the responsibilities after their father’s death but work day and night to pay for their sister’s medical expenses. The author first meets them on the outskirts of Verona where the two boys are selling wild strawberries. While his driver is suspicious of the boys because of their shabby appearance, the author cannot help noticing their innocence. [Questions and answers of Two Gentlemen of Verona]
Simultaneously, he recognizes a kind of maturity on their faces that is not generally found in boys of their age. Again next morning while leaving his hotel, the author came across the two boys shining shoes and doing brisk business. The author felt curious and surprised. He inquired how many tasks the two boy could perform and the answer was “We do many things sir.” The boys also worked as guides showing people around the monuments in the town. While on the one side, the author was amazed by their innocence and their demeanour, on the other there was a kind of seriousness under their smiles that was quite a lot maturer than their age. While the author was living in the town, he and his friend came across the two boys quite frequently.
The two proved very useful for him showing him around the town and even fetched him American cigarettes. However, the most striking thing about them was their enthusiasm and their willingness to work. They did many things from selling fruits to shining shoes and even hawking newspapers and being tourist guides. One night it was quite late when the author again came across the two boys sitting in the town square with a bundle of newspapers. Upon being asked they replied they told they were waiting for the last bus and the author was surprised if the boys really needed to work as hard and what they did with the money.
The author thought they were saving to go to the states but the boys replied while they would like to, it was not their plan. Their plan was something else. “We have different plans”, Nicola, the elder one replied. He gave an uncomfortable smile as if trying to hide something. The author could understand and decided not to probe them further. He was to leave soon and so he proposed the two guys if he could be of any use before that. While Nicolo remained quiet, the younger Jacopo asked if he could drop them to a place 30 kilometres from there in his car next day. The author decided to drive them there. They stopped before a beautiful house and Nicola asked the author to wait in the nearby café. However, he instead sneaked in through a side gate. The villa was a hospital, the author found out. What he saw inside was beyond his imagination and touched him deeply. The nurse told him that the two boys’ sister was ill with tuberculosis of spine. These kids had lost their father and home in a war some years ago. However, instead of losing courage they decided to pick up from where life had dropped them and took hold of everything by working hard day and night. The author did not intrude upon the three family members’ privacy and waited outside. Upon their way back too he did not let the boys know that he knew their secret
A. J. Cronin had written this memoir based on his visit to Verona. The article is named after a popular Shakespeare’s play. However, the real purpose of the author is to highlight the virtues that make a man a man. True humanity lies in not letting go and in courage and determination. The two young gentlemen of Verona had braved all their difficulties without a single complaint. Their love and emotional strength is exemplary but most exemplary is their maturity and sense of responsibility. These boys have demonstrated exemplary courage in the face of poverty and devastation and the author found a real lesson in their lives.