: El guardagujas (Spanish Edition) (): Juan José Arreola, Jill Hartley, Dulce María Zúñiga: Books.
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Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. The short story was originally published as a confabularioa word created in Spanish by Arreola, inin the collection Confabulario and Other Inventions.
The Switchman (El Guardagujas) by Juan José Arreola, |
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. In some guardwgujas, new towns, like the town of F. This page was last edited on 8 Septemberat In one case, where the train reached an abyss with no bridge, the passengers happily broke down and rebuilt the train on the other side.
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. The absurd human is one who recognizes a lack of clear purpose in life and therefore resolves to commit himself or herself to the struggle for order against the unpredictable, fortuitous reality he or she encounters. Because each style has its own guardagujaw nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.
Retrieved from ” https: The switchman turns to tell the stranger that he is lucky. Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia.
He asks the stranger for the name of the station he wants to go eo and the stranger says it is “X. 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 life with Mexican modifications.
The story, first published as “El guardagujas” in Cinco Cuentos inis translated in Confabulario and Other Inventions The switchman then relates a series of preposterous anecdotes, alluded to below, that illustrate the problems one might encounter during any given journey.
The Switchman – Wikipedia
Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. The switchman then tells a story of certain train rides when the trains ep 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. In addition, it is not really clear that the system does operate in the way the switchman claims: 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.
Modern Language Association http: 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 stranger wants to know if a train going to T. Retrieved April 12, Suddenly, a train approaches and the switchman begins to signal it. He has not ever traveled on a train and does not plan on doing so. 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. Three years later Arreola received a scholarship to study in Paris, where he may well have read these highly acclaimed essays.
The latter comes closest to the most convincing interpretation, namely, that Arreola has based his tale on Albert Camus ‘s philosophy of the absurd as set forth in The Myth of Sisyphus, a collection of essays Camus published in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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. 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. The stranger eo that he guaedagujas be able to go to T.
The switchman explains how the railroad company thinks of their railway system. 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.
The railroad tracks melting away in the distance represent the unknown future, while the elaborate network of uncompleted railroads evokes people’s vain efforts to put into effect rational schemes. 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. 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?
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. 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. 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.
The railroad company occasionally creates false train stations in remote locations to abandon people when the trains become too crowded. Like most of Arreola’s stories, The Switchman’ can be interpreted in a variety of ways—as an allegory of the pitfalls of the Mexican train system, an existential horror story of life’s absurdities and human limitation, and the author’s desire to laugh in spite of the insanities of the world and human interaction.
The Switchman Original title: