The Fortune Teller, by Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis Essay

The Fortune Teller, by Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis Essay

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In “The Fortune Teller,” a strange letter trembles the heart of the story’s protagonist, Camillo as he to understand the tone and meaning. The author, Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, attempts to make the reader believe that the letter is very ambiguous. This devious letter is a symbol of Camillo’s inability to realize that the treacherous deeds he has committed in the dark have finally come to light. This letter will ultimately change his life forever something he never expected. Not thinking of the large multitude of possible adverse outcomes, he reads the letter. Frightened that he has ruined what should have never been started, he broods over his decision to love a married woman. In light of this, Camillo continues his dubious love affair with his best friend’s wife, unconvinced that he will ever get caught. “The Fortune Teller” focuses on an intimate affair between three people that ends in death due to a letter, and Camillo will not understand what the true consequences that the letter entails until he is face to face with his best friend, Villela.
Camillo receives multiple letters. However, the last letter posed the most threat as it symbolized hate. The fact is unbeknownst to the reader at the beginning of the short story. After Camillo receives the letter from his best friend, readers are still unable to distinguish the importance of the letter. However, readers soon discover that Villela writes the letter out of anger and suspicion that something strange was going on with his wife. Villela was determined to figure out what it was. The author, Machado de Assis, ensures that the letter and its meaning remain questionable and ambiguous throughout the story. The letter states “‘Come immediately to our house; I must talk t...


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... wife.
In “The Fortune Teller,” the author, Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, uses symbolism to prove to one that an affair is not worth a person’s life. He uses the letter to symbolize hate between Villela and Camillo regarding the affair. This very ambiguous letter has terrified Camillo and put an end to his life. The letter enhances the theme of the short story by showing the anger and hate that Villela now had for Camillo. This hate is a focal point in the short story that leads to ending the affair along with Camillo and Rita’s life. Ultimately, the affair caused a large amount of tension between the three. However, the author was successful in grabbing the reader’s attention with the letter as the turning point of the short story.



Works Cited

The Fortune Teller

James Daley, Editor The World's Greatest Short Stories, (Dover Thrift Editions) 2006

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