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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In his piece, Arreola focuses on reality as well. 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?
El Guardagujas de Juan José Arreola – video dailymotion
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 But upon inquiring again where the stranger wants to go, the switchman receives the answer X instead of T.
As the man speculates about where his train might be, he feels a touch on his shoulder and turns to see a small jkan man dressed like a railroader juuan carrying a lantern.
The horrified stranger, who keeps insisting that he must arrive at destination T the next day, is therefore advised to rent a room in a nearby inn, an ash-colored building resembling a jail where would-be travelers are lodged.
The switchman explains how the railroad company thinks of their railway system. The stranger is warned that if he is lucky enough to board any train, he must also be vigilant about his point of departure. Retrieved from ” https: 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 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. Camus writes that neither humans alone nor the world by itself is absurd. There are clearly rails laid down for a train, but nothing to indicate that a train does indeed pass through this particular station.
Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia. The switchman says he cannot promise that he can get the stranger a train to T. Modern Language Association http: Three years later Arreola received a scholarship to study in Paris, where he may well have read these highly acclaimed essays.
Views Read Edit View history. Retrieved April 12, As demonstrated by its numerous interpretations, “The Switchman” is fraught with ambiguity.
El Guardagujas… de Juan José Arreola
Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. 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. The story, first published as “El guardagujas” in Cinco Cuentos inis translated in Confabulario and Other Inventions 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.
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. When the stranger asks the switchman how he knows all of this, the switchman replies that he is a d 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.
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. 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.
It seems that, although an elaborate network of railroads has been planned and arreolz completed, the service is highly unreliable. The Switchman Original title: The residents accept this system, but hope for a change in the system.
Why, then, does the switchman vanish at this moment? The stranger argues that he should be able to go to T. A stranger carrying a large suitcase runs towards a train station, and manages to arrive dw at the time that his train bound for a town identified only as T. In their view, their elaborate system, which includes accommodations for years-long trips and even for deaths, is very good.
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.
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. 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 stranger is very confused; he has no plans to stay. His best-known and most anthologized tale, “The Switchman” exemplifies his taste for humor, satire, fantasy, and philosophical themes. 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. 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.