Sunday, August 4, 2019

World War I and World War II :: Comparative

World War I and World II are basically the same, right? Well, one can also say they have nothing in common. The comparison of the two wars is conceivable, but it is thought-provoking because they are such widespread notions. This concept applies to Araby, written by James Joyce during WWI, and The Flash, written by Italo Calvino during WWII. In Araby, the protagonist falls in love with a girl, but love deceives him. In his moment of epiphany, â€Å"[g]azing up into the darkness [he] saw [himself] as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and [his] eyes burned with anguish and anger† (Joyce 1). In The Flash, the protagonist suddenly grasps a reality and in his moment of epiphany â€Å"[he] stopped, blinked: [He] understood nothing. Nothing, nothing about anything. [He] didn’t understand the reasons for things or for people, it was all senseless, absurd† (Calvino 1). Comparing the epiphanies of the two distinct short stories reveals a relationship betwee n their similarities and differences through theme, symbolism and setting. First and foremost, comparing the themes of both epiphanies reveal they can simultaneously be similar and different. An important common theme in both epiphanies is facing reality. In Araby, the protagonist realizes â€Å"[his] stay was useless† (Joyce 6) since the young lady only â€Å"spok[e] to [him] out of a sense of duty† (Joyce 6). Likewise, in The Flash, the protagonist realizes he â€Å"accepted everything: traffic lights, cars, posters, uniforms, monuments, things completely detached from any sense of the world, accepted them as if there some necessity, some chain of cause and effect that bound them together† (Calvino 1). Both characters face the reality and randomness of the world. Even so, each epiphany implies each protagonist faces a different sort of reality. The protagonist of Araby faces the reality of love and â€Å"[sees himself] as a creature driven and derived by vanity† (Joyce 6). On the other hand, the protagonist of The Fla sh faces the reality of existence and hopes â€Å"[he] shall grasp that other knowledge† (Calvino 2). Therefore, reviewing the theme similar to both epiphanies leads to discovering different themes as well. Conversely, looking at the differences in the symbolism of each epiphany hints at a comparable aspect of symbolism. The epiphany of Araby symbolizes the protagonist escaping into a dark world when he enters â€Å"[t]he upper part of the hall [which] was now completely dark† (Joyce 6).

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