Connotative Dreams in Sabato's The Tunnel

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Connotative Dreams in Sabato's The Tunnel In Ernesto Sabato’s The Tunnel, dreams reveal Juan Pablo Castel’s obscure and conflicting personality. Castel has lived a life of isolation, despair, and one that has been both solitary and lonesome. His existence becomes meaningful when a young lady named Maria takes notice of an abstract window within one of his paintings. Maria becomes his obsession; he seeks solace and refuge through her. Castel’s dreams unveil his true motivations for obsessing over Maria; they help to display his need for meaning, love, affection and attention. His dreams symbolize his ambiguous and construed emotions as well as foreshadow upcoming events in his life. By making the dreams complex and enigmatic, Sabato is able to mimic Castel’s mindset. Through this ulterior reality, Castel is able to escape, rationalize, and realize his multiple problems. The first of Castel’s dreams occurs while Maria is away at the estancia and ends up illustrating his chaotic emotions and confused adoration for her. Castel is in a weakened state and is frantically awaiting Maria’s return. He envisions being within a dark house which he feels he had “known and infinitely desired”(88) since his youth. He feels comforted in this residence because it is something definite, understood, and established. Castel lacks these feelings of stability in his life because he devoutly subscribes to the existentialist thought; he believes that mortality is a narrow passageway which is uncertain and has no point to it other than to purely exist. When he enters the dim household, he is mysteriously lead by “old memories” (88). These recollections imply a thematic undertone since existentialists believe that nothing precedes life be... ... middle of paper ... ...ing her life, he is able to control something and finally rid himself of some of his torments. The Tunnel explores a struggling painter’s feelings of despair and of complete and utter solitariness which are all displayed throughout his dreams. They give reason as to why Castel acts the way he does and also reveal much of his eccentric selfdom. His dreams predict as well as influence Castel’s future behavior and give the reader insight into Castel’s thought process. He internalizes, visualizes and rationalizes each action he is planning to take. He displays intelligent judgment in his dreams whereas in reality, his behavior is illogical and nonsensical. Castel is not able to apply the dreams’ meanings in a positive way to his daily life. Ultimately, Castel ignores the dreams’ valuable suggestions and destroys Maria’s existence in order to liberate his own.

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