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 image immediately thereafter of the tiny red lantern swinging back and forth before the onrushing train conveys the story’s principal theme: Three years later Arreola received a scholarship to study in Paris, where he may well have read these highly acclaimed essays.

The latter comes closest to the most convincing interpretation, namely, that Arreola has based his tale on Albert Camus ‘s philosophy of xrreola absurd as set forth in The Myth of Sisyphus, a collection of essays Camus published in Another episode involves a trainload of energetic passengers juaan became heroes absurd heroes in Camusian terms when they disassembled their train, carried it across a bridgeless chasm, and reassembled it on rareola other side in order to complete their journey.

Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia. The stranger is warned that if he is lucky enough to board any train, he must also be vigilant about his point of departure.

Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. 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. 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. 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.

When the stranger asks the switchman how he knows all of this, the guardaguja replies arreloa he is a retired switchman who visits train stations to reminisce about old times.


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.

Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia. The switchman’s anecdote about the founding of the village F, which occurred when a train guardagjjas stranded a group of passengers—now happy settlers—in a remote region, illustrates the element of chance in human existence.

The stranger is very confused; he has no plans to stay. The switchman says he cannot promise that he can get the stranger a train to T.

El Guardagujas… de Juan José Arreola

The railroad management was so pleased that they decided to suspend wrreola official bridge building and instead encourage the stripping and recreation of future trains. Why, then, does the switchman vanish at this moment?

Camus writes that neither humans alone nor the world by itself is absurd. 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. 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.

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 guardaguajs train travel in this country. Briefly summarized, “The Switchman” portrays a stranger burdened with a heavy suitcase who arrives at a deserted station at the exact time his train is supposed to leave.

A stranger carrying a large suitcase runs towards a train station, and manages to guardaujas exactly at the time that his train bound for a town identified only as T.


El Guardagujas de Juan José Arreola – video dailymotion

In their view, their elaborate system, which includes accommodations for years-long trips and even for deaths, is very good. He vanishes because he has fulfilled his role as the stranger’s subconscious by not only asking the Camusian question “Why?

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. In areas where no rails exist, passengers simply wait for the unavoidable wreck. The stranger argues that he should be able to go to T.

He asks the stranger for the name of the station he wants to go to and the stranger says it guxrdagujas “X. 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.

In addition, it is not really clear that the system does guardagujaw in the way the switchman claims: 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 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.