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The Switchman 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.
Briefly summarized, “The Switchman” portrays a stranger burdened with a heavy suitcase who arrives at a deserted station at the exact time his train is supposed to leave. From the first lines of “The Switchman” the stranger stands out as a man of reason, fully expecting that, because he has a ticket to T, the train will take him there on time.
Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia. 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.
El guardagujas de Juan Jósé Arreola by Davi Mesquita Bodingbauer on Prezi
Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. The stranger is very confused; he has no plans to stay. The details of the story do not really support his claim that he is indeed an official switchman, so it may be that his tales represent a system that presents absurdity as an official truth and relies on the gullibility of the audience. The switchman says he cannot promise that he can get the stranger a train to T. Instead, they resembled the work of writers like Franz Kafka and Albert Camus and their examination of the human condition.
Three years later Arreola received a scholarship to study in Paris, where he may well have read these highly acclaimed essays. A stranger carrying a large suitcase runs towards a train station, and manages to arrive exactly at the time that his train bound for a town identified only as T.
His best-known and most anthologized tale, “The Switchman” exemplifies his taste for humor, satire, fantasy, and philosophical themes. He has not ever traveled on a train and does not plan on doing so.
The Switchman – Wikipedia
The absurd human is one who recognizes a lack of clear purpose in life and therefore resolves to commit himself or arfeola to the struggle for order against the unpredictable, fortuitous reality he or she encounters. In the final lines of Arreola’s story the assertion of the stranger now referred to as the traveler that he is going to X rather than T indicates that he has become an absurd man ready to set out for an unknown destination.
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 order to complete their journey. There are clearly rails laid down for a train, but nothing to indicate that a train does indeed pass through this particular station.
Why, then, does the switchman vanish at this moment? As he gazes at the tracks that seem to melt away in the distance, an old man the switchman carrying a tiny red dl appears from out of nowhere and proceeds to inform the stranger of the hazards of train travel in this country. Where there is only one rail instead of two, the trains zip along and allow the first class passengers the side of the train riding on the rail.
argeola Thus, the stranger’s heavy suitcase symbolizes the burden of reason he carries about, and the inn resembles a jail, the fuardagujas where others like him are lodged before setting out on life’s absurd journey. The switchman’s guardaagujas about the founding of the village F, which guardabujas when a train accident stranded a group of passengers—now happy settlers—in a remote region, illustrates the element of chance in human existence.
But upon inquiring again where the stranger wants to go, the switchman receives the answer X instead of T. The short story was originally published as a confabularioa word created in Spanish by Arreola, inin the collection Confabulario and Other Inventions.
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.
Retrieved April 12, 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. Though some consider him to be a pioneer in the field on non-realistic literature, critics of him felt that social conditions in Mexico demanded a more realistic examination of the inequalities.
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. In his piece, Arreola focuses on reality as 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. In addition, it is not really clear that the system does operate in the way the switchman claims: 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. The railroad tracks melting away in the distance represent the unknown future, while the elaborate network of uncompleted railroads evokes people’s vain guardagujss to put into effect rational schemes.
The switchman tells the stranger that the inn is filled with people who have made that very same assumption, and who guardagujaw one day actually get there. The residents accept this system, but hope for a change in the system. The image immediately thereafter of the tiny red lantern swinging back and forth before the onrushing train conveys the story’s principal theme: Modern Language Association http: