: El guardagujas (Spanish Edition) (): Juan José Arreola, Jill Hartley, Dulce María Zúñiga: Books.

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The residents accept this system, but hope for a change in the system. The switchman then relates a series of preposterous anecdotes, alluded to below, that illustrate the problems one might encounter during any given journey.

El guardagujas de Juan Jósé Arreola by Davi Mesquita Bodingbauer on Prezi

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Though some consider him to be a pioneer in the field on non-realistic literature, critics of him felt that social conditions in Guardagujss demanded a more realistic examination of the inequalities.

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

This page was last edited on 8 Septemberat But upon inquiring again where the stranger wants to go, the switchman receives the answer X instead of T. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

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. 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 e, out on life’s absurd journey.

Retrieved April 12, It seems that, although an elaborate network of railroads has been planned and partially completed, the service is highly unreliable. 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.


In some cases, new towns, like the town of F.

Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia. Rather, the absurd arises from guuardagujas clash between reasoning humans striving for order and the silent, unreasonable world offering no response to their persistent demands. 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.

Retrieved from ” https: Modern Language Association http: 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. As the man speculates about where his train might be, guardsgujas feels a touch on his shoulder and turns to see a small old man dressed like a railroader guardaguhas carrying a lantern.

The switchman’s anecdote about the founding of the village F, eo occurred when a train accident stranded a group of passengers—now happy settlers—in a guagdagujas region, illustrates the element of chance in human existence. The story, first published as “El guardagujas” in Cinco Cuentos inis translated in Confabulario and Other Inventions 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 Switchman (El Guardagujas) by Juan José Arreola, |

The short story was originally published as a confabularioa word created in Spanish by Arreola, inin the collection Confabulario and Other Inventions. But it soon becomes apparent from the information provided him by his interlocutor that the uncertain journey he guardaguhas about to undertake is a metaphor of the absurd human condition described by Camus. The railroad company occasionally creates false train stations in remote locations to abandon people when the trains become too crowded.

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. 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.

The Switchman

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

He does not understand why the stranger insists on going to T. Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.