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Mexican literature short stories.
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.
The short story was originally published as a confabularioa word created in Spanish by Arreola, inguardgujas the collection Confabulario and Other Inventions. He has not ever traveled on a train and does not plan on doing so.
The image immediately thereafter of the tiny red lantern swinging back and forth before the onrushing train conveys the story’s principal theme: 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 Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.
He does not understand why the stranger insists on going to T. The switchman explains how the guardsgujas company thinks of their railway system.
The stranger argues that he should be able to go to T. 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.
El guardagujas de Juan Jósé Arreola by Davi Mesquita Bodingbauer on Prezi
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.
He feels that those with authority create absurd laws and conditions in their domain, and their subjects often willingly accept these absurdities, much like ordinary train passengers. The railroad company occasionally creates false train stations in remote locations to abandon people when the trains become too crowded.
In addition, it is not really clear that the system does operate in the way the switchman claims: 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.
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 residents accept this system, but hope for a change in the system.
But upon inquiring again where the stranger wants to go, the switchman receives the answer X instead of T.
El guardagujas/ The Switchman
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved from ” https: It seems that, although an elaborate network of railroads has been planned and partially completed, the service is highly unreliable.
It was republished ten years later along with other published works by Arreola at that time in the collection El Confabulario total. 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 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 stranger is very confused; he has no plans to stay. 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. Suddenly, a train approaches and the switchman begins to signal it. He asks the stranger for the name of the station he wants to go to and the stranger says it is “X.
Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia. 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. 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.
The Switchman (El Guardagujas) by Juan José Arreola, |
The stranger is warned that if he is lucky enough to board any train, he must also be vigilant about his point of departure. The switchman says he guardagjjas promise that he can get the stranger a train to T. In arreopa 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.