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Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. The old man then dissolves in the clear morning air, and only the red speck of the lantern remains visible before the noisily approaching engine. Arreola’s ingenious tale exudes a very Mexican flavor, but above all else it is a universal statement on the existential human’s precarious place in the world. In some cases, new towns, like the town of F. When he asks if the train has left, the old man wonders if the traveler has been in the country very long and advises him to find lodging at the local inn for at least a month.
The absurd human is aware not only of the limits of reason but also of the absurdity of death and nothingness that will ultimately be his or her fate. Three years later Arreola received a scholarship to study in Paris, where he may well have read these highly acclaimed essays.
El guardagujas de Juan Jósé Arreola by Davi Mesquita Bodingbauer on Prezi
The Guardagjuas On one level the story operates as a satire on the Mexican transportation system, while on another the railroad is an analogy for the hopeless absurdity of the human condition.
The stranger is also told it should make no difference to him whether or not he reaches T, that once he is on the train his life “will indeed take on some direction. His best-known and most anthologized tale, “The Switchman” exemplifies his taste for humor, satire, fantasy, and philosophical themes.
The switchman then guardagunas a series of preposterous anecdotes, alluded to below, that illustrate the problems one might encounter during any given journey. In addition, guardaguajs is not really clear that the system does operate in the way the switchman claims: Awareness of the absurd human condition can come at any moment, but it is most likely to happen when, suddenly confronted by the meaninglessness of hectic daily routine, he or she asks the question “Why?
In his piece, Arreola focuses on reality as well. Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. Another episode involves a trainload of energetic passengers who became heroes absurd heroes in Camusian terms when they disassembled their train, carried it across a bridgeless chasm, and reassembled it on the other side in wl to complete their journey.
It has been seen as a satire on Mexico’s railroad service and the Mexican character, as a lesson taught by the instincts to a human soul about to be born, as a modern allegory of Christianity, as a complex political satire, as a surrealistic fantasy on the illusive nature of reality, and as an existentialist view of guardaguajs with Mexican modifications.
In their view, their guardagujs system, which includes accommodations for years-long trips and even for deaths, is very good. The short story was originally published as a confabularioa word created in Spanish by Arreola, inin the collection Confabulario and Other Arfeola.
Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia. He does not understand why the stranger insists on going to T. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.
Thus, the stranger’s heavy suitcase symbolizes the burden of reason he carries about, and the inn resembles a jail, the place where others like him are lodged before setting out on life’s absurd journey. Retrieved April 12, The switchman then tells a story of certain train rides when the trains arrived at impossible locations.
But it soon becomes apparent from the information provided him by his interlocutor that the uncertain journey he is about to undertake is a metaphor of the absurd human condition described by Camus. The switchman explains how the railroad company thinks of their railway system. The stranger argues that he should be able to go to T. As the stranger is very interested in this, the switchman once again encourages the stranger to try his luck, but warns him not to talk to fellow passengers, who may be spies, and to watch out for mirages that the railroad company generates.
The residents accept this system, but hope for a change in the system.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. The switchman tells the stranger that the inn is filled with people who have made that very same assumption, and who may one day actually get there. The switchman’s anecdote about the founding of the village F, which occurred when a train accident stranded a group of passengers—now happy settlers—in a remote region, illustrates the element of chance in human existence.
The stranger is very confused; he has no plans to stay. Instead, they resembled the work of writers like Franz Kafka and Albert Camus and their examination of the human condition. The railroad management was so pleased that they decided to suspend any official bridge building and instead encourage the stripping and recreation of future trains. In areas where no rails exist, passengers simply wait for the unavoidable wreck.
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He asks the stranger for the name of the station he wants to go to and the stranger says it is “X. Why, then, does the switchman vanish at this moment? As demonstrated by its numerous interpretations, “The Switchman” is fraught with ambiguity.
When the stranger asks the switchman how he knows all of this, the switchman replies that he is a retired switchman who visits train stations to reminisce about old times. Briefly summarized, “The Switchman” portrays a stranger burdened with a heavy suitcase who arrives at a deserted station guardxgujas the exact time his train is supposed to leave.
The “switchman” tells the stranger that the country is famous for its railroad system; though many timetables and tickets have been produced, the trains do not follow them well. The stranger is warned that if he is lucky enough to board any train, he must also be vigilant about his point of departure.