EL GUARDAGUJAS DE JUAN JOS ARREOLA PDF

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http://www. taken there, don’t you agree?” “Most people would say you are right. Over at the inn you can talk to people who have. The Switchman1. Juan José Arreola.

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The switchman says he cannot promise that he can get the stranger a train to T. Camus writes that neither humans alone nor the world by itself is absurd.

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. This page was last edited on 8 Septemberat 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?

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 Switchman

The Switchman Original title: Mexican literature short stories. As demonstrated by its numerous interpretations, “The Switchman” is fraught with ambiguity.

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.

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.

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.

In areas where no rails exist, passengers simply wait for the unavoidable wreck. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. 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. Modern Language Association http: Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia.

The railroad company occasionally creates false train stations in remote locations to abandon people when the trains become too crowded. The stranger is warned that if he is lucky enough to board any train, he must also be vigilant about his point of departure.

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In addition, it is not really clear that the system does operate in the way the switchman claims: In their view, their elaborate system, which includes accommodations for years-long trips and even for deaths, is very good.

The image immediately thereafter of the tiny red lantern swinging back and forth before the onrushing train conveys the story’s principal theme: The stranger is very confused; he has no plans to stay. 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. He does not understand why the stranger insists on going to T.

But upon inquiring again where the stranger wants to go, the switchman receives the answer X instead of T. The switchman jua relates a series of preposterous anecdotes, alluded to below, that illustrate the problems one might encounter during any given journey. His best-known and most anthologized tale, “The Switchman” exemplifies his taste for humor, satire, fantasy, and philosophical themes.

Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Retrieved from ” https: The stranger is also told it should make no difference to him whether or not he reaches T, that once he is on eel train his life “will indeed take on some direction. As the man speculates about where his train might be, he feels a touch jjos his shoulder and turns to arrwola a small old man dressed like a railroader and carrying a lantern.

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. Retrieved April 12, Views Read Edit View history.

It was republished ten years later along with other published works by Arreola at that time in the collection El Confabulario total. The story, first published as “El guardagujas” in Cinco Cuentos inis translated in Confabulario and Other Inventions The residents accept this system, but hope for a change in the system. It seems that, although an elaborate network of railroads has been planned and partially completed, the service is highly unreliable.

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The stranger argues that he should be able to go to T. 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 Switchman – Wikipedia

The switchman then tells a story of certain train rides when the trains arrived at impossible locations. 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.

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 the stranger of the hazards of train travel in this country. 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.

The short story was originally published as a confabularioa word created in Spanish by Arreola, inin the collection Confabulario and Other Inventions. Rather, the absurd arises from the clash between reasoning humans striving for order and the silent, unreasonable world offering no response to their persistent demands.

The switchman explains how the railroad company thinks of their railway system. 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.

In some cases, new towns, like the town of F. Why, then, does the switchman vanish at this moment? 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.

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.