The Meaning of Life in Frederico Garcia Lorcs's City That Does Not Sleep

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In Federico Garcia Lorca’s poem, City That Does Not Sleep, there are very prominent images and realistic ideas that are instilled upon the reader. The question is the meaning of life, one that is shrouded by dreams and countless deaths. Garcia Lorca expresses this idea through his use of surrealism to push a paradoxical idea onto the reader. In a sense, our existence is only a perception of our minds and there is not a reality that we truly believe in.
The title of the author’s poem gives off a sense of uneasiness and causes the reader to dig deeper in order to find its true meaning. A city that does not sleep is the same as it is at daytime. The people and society in total does not change in the idea of reality and what it means to live.
Garcia Lorca uses imagery in order to set his definition of life in the eyes of others. The iguanas will come and attack people who are no longer dreaming. This example from the poem is closely related to nature in the use of animals. It also is a representation of death and the inevitable end to all humans in the end. Those who stop dreaming are the ones who have died. Afterwards, the cycle of life will continue, life, death, and the afterlife. Reincarnation is another idea that comes to mind from the poem. The cycle of life is intricate and intertwined, which is related to what can be seen in nature.
Life is full of obstacles that people must overcome in order to continue. Garcia Lorca uses intense images such as watching preserved butterflies come back to life and where the mummified hand of a boy lies. His use of surrealistic events helps the reader understand Lorca’s emphasis on the brutality and disgusting outlook of life. The struggle in life to survive is a major component i...

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...y die in life and come back after death. This leads to a never ending fear of death for all humanity. These ideas can be summarized as the monotone, hopeless world that humans live in without a clear meaning.
The final line of Lorca’s poem is when he states, “No one is sleeping. But if someone grows too much moss on his temples during the night open the stage trapdoors so he can see in the moonlight the lying goblets, and the poison, and the skull of the theatres.” Lorca’s meaning of life shifts to another idea in his final words. He intended to make the reader see the theater as society and life. If person grows tired of living, the true meaning of life would be exposed to them. Because no one sleeps, if one were to try to open the doors of life, all he would find is that life is insignificant and trivial. A nightmare would clearly be what life is meant to be.

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