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. THE SWITCHMAN (El guardagujas)by Juan José Arreola, Juan José Arreola owes his reputation to his short stories, even though he has also published a. El guardagujas (Spanish Edition) [Juan Jose Arreola, Jill Hartley, Dulce Maria Zuniga] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.


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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 absurd human is aware not only of the limits of reason but also of el guardagujas juan jose arreola absurdity of death and nothingness that will ultimately be his el guardagujas juan jose arreola her fate.

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?

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 Switchman

But it soon becomes apparent from the information provided him by his interlocutor that el guardagujas juan jose arreola uncertain journey he is about to undertake is a metaphor of the absurd human condition described by Camus. 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.

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.

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 el guardagujas juan jose arreola in order to complete their journey.

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 el guardagujas juan jose arreola destination is death, a fundamental absurdist concept.

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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 T indicates that he has become an absurd man ready to set out for an unknown destination. El guardagujas juan jose arreola image immediately thereafter of the tiny red lantern swinging back and forth before the onrushing train conveys the story's principal theme: Why, then, does the switchman vanish at this moment?


He vanishes because el guardagujas juan jose arreola has fulfilled his role as the stranger's subconscious by not only asking the Camusian question "Why?

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. McMurray Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

Retrieved November 23, from Encyclopedia. In their view, their elaborate system, which includes accommodations for years-long trips and even for deaths, is very good.

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

In areas where no rails exist, passengers simply wait for the unavoidable wreck. In some cases, new towns, like the town of F.

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 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 stranger still wishes to travel on his train to T. 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 railroad company occasionally creates false train stations in remote locations to abandon people when the trains become too crowded.

As the stranger is very interested in el guardagujas juan jose arreola, 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.

Lecturas errantes: El Guardagujas, de Juan José Arreola

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.

He has not ever traveled on a train and el guardagujas juan jose arreola not plan on doing so. Suddenly, a train approaches and the switchman begins to signal it.

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