Essay about The Salamander By Merce Rodoreda

Essay about The Salamander By Merce Rodoreda

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Being different can sometimes be somewhat scary because one may be considered an outcast. Being an outcast can be quite difficult especially when people can be cruel. In the short story “The Salamander,” the narrator is considered an outcast because she is different and does not follow society’s norms. The author from this short story, Mercè Rodoreda, can be compared to the narrator because she too did not follow the norms. Rodoreda’s short story includes some aspects that can be compared to her life, yet many other aspects in her story are inexplicable. “The Salamander” by Mercè Rodoreda can be described as a fantastic story because of the fantastic elements it contains, such as hesitation and liminality. The short story fits well into Todorov’s definition of the fantastic because it creates hesitation for the readers when the narrator experiences rebirth and it includes several examples of liminality. Liminality can be seen when the defined lines between human and animal, and life and death are blurred. Liminality also plays into the major theme of the story when the protagonist accepts her destiny or being different.
Several different elements can create a fantastic story. One major element would be when the reader experiences hesitation while reading the story. According to Todorov’s definition of the fantastic, “The fantastic… must oblige the reader to consider the world of the characters as a world of living persons and to hesitate between a natural and a supernatural explanation of the events described” (Todorov). In “The Salamander” the reader hesitates when the narrator turns into a salamander. Turning into a salamander would fall into Todorov’s definition of a supernatural event without an explanation. The narrator st...


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...riences being in-between the stage of human and animal and in-between the stage of being alive and dead. The lines between these very distinct things were blurred. This blurriness created ambiguity which led to another major aspect of the fantastic, hesitation. Todorov’s definition of the fantastic includes hesitation and liminality, so then one can consider “The Salamander by Mercè Rodoreda as a fantastic story. One can also point out some similarities between Mercè Rodoreda and the narrator in “The Salamandra.” Both the narrator and Rodoreda are considered outcasts because they are and act different than the rest of society. Sometimes it can be a good thing to be different although it can be challenging and scary at times. Different usually means change and change usually means seeing life in a new perspective, which in different perspectives could be good or bad.

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