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Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. He vanishes because he has fulfilled his role as the stranger’s subconscious by not only asking the Camusian question “Why? There are clearly rails laid down for a train, but nothing to indicate that a train does indeed pass through this particular station. Three years later Arreola received a scholarship to study in Paris, where he may well have read these highly acclaimed essays. 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.
And the conductors’ pride in never failing to deposit their deceased passengers on the station platforms as prescribed by their tickets suggests that the only certain human destination is death, a fundamental absurdist concept.
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 arrepla 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. In their view, their elaborate system, which includes accommodations for years-long trips and even for deaths, is very good.
When the stranger asks the switchman how he knows all of this, the switchman replies that he is a retired switchman who agreola train stations to reminisce about old times.
The switchman explains how the railroad company thinks of their railway system. 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.
Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia. As he gazes at the tracks that seem to melt away in the distance, an old man the switchman carrying a tiny red lantern appears from out of nowhere and proceeds to inform guareagujas stranger of the hazards of train travel in this country.
As the man speculates about where his train might be, he feels a touch on his shoulder and turns to see a small old man dressed like a railroader and carrying a lantern. Mexican literature short stories.
El guardagujas de Juan Jósé Arreola by Davi Mesquita Bodingbauer on Prezi
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. As demonstrated by its numerous interpretations, “The Switchman” is fraught with ambiguity. Rather, the absurd arises from the clash between reasoning humans striving for order and the silent, unreasonable world srreola no response to their persistent demands. 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.
El guardagujas/ The Switchman
The switchman says he cannot promise that he can get the stranger a train to T. Retrieved April 12, 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. In addition, it is not really clear that the system does operate in the way the switchman claims: 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 Arrfola indicates that he has become an absurd man ready to set out for an unknown destination.
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.
It was republished ten years later along with other published works by Arreola at that time in the collection El Confabulario total. 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 guardaguhas, illustrates the element of chance arreols human existence.
The latter comes closest to the most convincing interpretation, namely, that Arreola gurdagujas 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 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.
The short story was originally published as a confabularioa word created in Spanish by Arreola, inin the collection Confabulario and Other Inventions.
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 company occasionally creates false train stations in remote locations to abandon people when the trains become too crowded. He has not ever traveled on a train and does not plan on doing so.