Gordimer primarily used the irony of emotions to present her thoughts with regards the connection of the two people being focused upon in the reading. As much as the woman tries to find her man in a deserted island where he was held as a captive because of leading marches and movements against the oppressive approaches of the administration, she loses that particular likeness to see the man of her life when he finally arrives home from being away for so long.
The voice of the story relates how a woman who has lost her fondness of one thing or one person due to time. Although the author does strongly want to show that the woman loved her man so much, she used the different elements of emotion and time that suggests how much outside factors could directly result to the dismaying feelings of the persons involved within the situation. Besides that, the tone of the story suggests that the author of the reading wants to send a message to the readers that would most likely become most effective in letting them know how is it possible for elemental factors to affect the emotions of a person towards something or someone.
Undoubtedly, the writer of the story simply wants to metaphorically use the situation as a presentation on how human relationships change through the years, how moving on sticks to the present situation and not on the memories or desires of the past.