While I was reading, “The Bureau d’Echange de Maux”, by Lord Dunsany, two emotions vivid emotions I experienced are anger and sadness. I felt these emotions because of how humans tend to not think carefully and end up regretting the choice they made, which is the main theme of this story, and how regret relates to my life. In the first part of the story, the protagonist goes to the Bureau d’Echange de Maux several times and begins to wonder about the trade of evils and misfortunes in the store and why customers never come back to the store to do business after their first trade.
He later is drawn into the mystery of why people never come back after a trade and sets out to solve the mystery himself by trading something slightly evil. “I determined to exchange some very trivial evil for some evil equally slight” (page 63). When he said this sentence he is determined to trade for something small and not take a risk. By the second part of the story, the protagonist has chosen to trade his fear of sea-sickness, and trades this fear for a fear of elevators with another trader. He never crossed the sea and I on the other hand could always walk upstairs” (page 64). When saying this, he initially thinks that there would be no consequence as he could walk upstairs and that he knows too much on hydraulics to be worried of something as silly as an elevator breaking.
The third part of the story shows his total regret to the bad decision he had made earlier in the story of exchanging his fear of sea sickness for a fear of elevators. They asked me if I would go upstairs in the lift, from force of habit I risked it” “I would sooner go up to my room in a balloon. Why? Because if a balloon goes wrong you have a chance, it might spread out into a parachute after it has burst, it may catch in a tree, a hundred and one things may happen but if a lift falls down its shaft, you are done” (page 65). By now he terrified of elevators and even says he would prefer to go upstairs in a balloon. He regrets the decision he made earlier and sets out to the shop where he traded fears the never next day.
He walked down the cul-de-sac and in a half hour and he realizes that the old man’s shop, the very same one he visited to exchange fears has now disappeared. He then realizes that the bad choice he had made earlier is now permanent as the old man’s shop has disappeared, and regrets it. The third and last of the story is where I can relate to the protagonist. Sometimes I make a bad choice such as putting my homework to the last minute and end up regretting it, because at that time there is nothing I can do to fix my mistake.
The fact that he now has to live with the bad choice he had made is what I found to be sad about this story. I also felt angry because I can relate the story to my own life, when I make bad decisions. The protagonist had foolishly made the choice of exchanging his fear of sea-sickness for a fear of elevators, thinking that a fear of elevators could do no harm to his life did not think things carefully and now has no choice but to live his life with new fear.