Paraphrasing Discussion Questions

I have to read: Read “Axolotl” by Julio Cortazar Read “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Read Casebook Three: Magical Realism, Read commentary: “The Kind of Fiction Most Characteristic of Our Time” by Ursula LeGuin And Answer the review questions: I already have my friends answers I need you to do Paraphrasing so my teacher will not know I’m using my friends answer we are in the same class. No copy or past. I need 110 words for each question No references needed
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1. Why does leGuin spend so much time defining “fantasy”?
“Axolotl” opens with a blunt summary of its own plot: “There was a time when I thought a
great deal about the axolotls. I went to see them in the aquarium at the Jardin des Plantes…”
The story recounts on how fantastic transformation took place. Fantasy is shown to rule the
supreme as opposed to false empirical realism. Fantastic reality bursts in to the realm of the
daily activities as emphasized in the story. Cortazar uses fantasy to gain and win the confidence
of the reader similar to what other writers does in short stories. The writer puts the reader at
ease by creating normal setting and conventional characters in familiar situation. Readers must
solve the intersection between reality and fantasy. “He sat sprawled in his favorite arm chair,
its back towards the door-even the possibility of an intrusion would have irritated him, had he
thought of it.”
2. How does the Butterfly story “make [us] think twice”? How is this concept
important to magical realism?
In the story a very old man with enormous wings, “his huge buzzard wings, dirty and half-plucked
were forever entangled on the mud. They looked at him so long and so closely that Pelayo and
Elisenda very soon overcame their surprise and in the end found him familiar” magical realism
consists of mostly true-to-life narrative punctuated by moments of whimsical often symbolic,
fantasy described in the same matter-of-fact tone. The magical realistic style combines homely
details of Pelayo and Elisendas life with fantastic elements such as flying man and a spider woman
to create a tone of equal parts local-color story and fairy tale. There is a mingling of the fantastic
and ordinary in all the descriptions, including the swarms of crabs that in the rainy grayness looks
“like powdered light.” It is in this strange, highly textured, dreamlike setting that the old winged
man appears, a living myth, who is nevertheless covered in lice and dressed in rags.
3. What does LeGuin mean when she points out that “During those years, Frodo
withheld his hand from the Ring of Power, but the nations did not”?
In the film version of “The fellowship of the Ring”, Arwen rescues Frodo after he’s been stabbed
by a wraith and whisks him safely on horseback to Rivendell, with the wraiths in close pursuit.
“You are a ring-bearer, Frodo. To bear a ring of power is to be alone. This task was appointed to
you. And if you do not find a way no one will.” Galadriel, the Lady Woods, says these words to
Frodo near the end of Fellowship of the Ring. The experience makes them all uneasy. As the others
sleep, Galadriel makes Frodo look into the mirror, in which he sees visions of what will happen if
his mission fails: among other tragedies, the shire will be overrun by orcs and his friend will be
imprisoned. She tells Frodo that the fellowship has broken and that one by one the others will come
after the ring, a statement that anticipates Boromir’s attempt to steal the ring at the end of the film.
4. Why does “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” begin with crabs invading
the house?
According to an overview about the story, one day while killing crabs during a rainstorm that
lasted for several days, Pelayo discovers a homeless, disoriented old man in the courtyard who
happens to have very large wings. The old man is filthy and apparently senile, and speaks in an
unintelligible language. After consulting a neighbor woman, Pelayo and his wife, Elisenda, the old
man must be an angel who had tried to come and take their sick child to heaven. The neighbor
woman tells Pelayo that he should club the angel to death, but Pelayo and Elisenda take pity on
their visitor especially after their child recovers. The two keep the old man in their chicken coop,
and he soon begins to attract crowds of curious visitors. Father Gonzaga the local priest tells the
people that the old man is probably not an angel because he is shabby and doesn’t speak Latin.
Father Gonzaga decides to ask his bishop for guidance.
5. How is the old man with wings different from what an angel “should” look like?
Why is he different from a “real” angel?
The old man is shabbily dressed and he is not in a position to speak Latin. According to their
expectation of an angel, he should be well dressed and being in a position to speak Latin according
to the beliefs that the community hold on qualities of an angel. Father Gonzaga when he sees the
old man he tells the crowd that the man is probably not an angel. Being the local priest of the area
people tend to believe in his words. He also seeks for a more clear information from the bishop.
This attracts large crowd as people come to see the old man. The old man also ignores the crowd
even when they pluck his feathers and throw stones at him. This shows that the old man does not
have the supernatural powers to defend himself in comparison to what people expect from him but
the old man gets enraged, however when the visitors seer him with a branding iron to see whether
he’s still alive. A real angel should be good looking, with an ability to defend himself in the event
of attack. He should use his supernatural power to fight the crowd.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………….
6. Why is the angel less popular than the spider-woman?
The spider woman essentially comes and takes the old man’s fame. She is a trouble maker who
got kicked out of her parents’ home for disobeying. After disobeying her parents she was
transformed into a tarantula with the head of a woman. The people forget about the old man and
focus their interest on her. In contrast to the old man, who does not talk and move much, she is
always open to tell about her story, so the villagers abandon the old man when she comes. The old
man even when the crowd plucks out his feathers and go to extend of throwing stones at him he
still remain silent. After the crowd has run out of curiosity that probably the man is not an angel,
they start to disperse when a travelling freak show arrives in the village. Therefore the spider
woman gains more popularity than the old man.
7. Does the angel benefit the couple? How?
The angel benefits the couple which was Pelayo and Elisenda. The couple has grown quite wealthy
from the admission fees Elisenda had charged. People come to see the old man. The crowd
becomes so large and Elisenda sees an opportunity and starts to charge an entrance fee. At the end
of the process the couple becomes rich. Pelayo quits his job and builds a, new large house. This is
from the wealth that Elisenda had gained as she charged entrance fees as people come to see the
old man. The old man rilly benefits the couple. Through him the two grew rich and wealth. Had
the old man not come and people don’t come to see the old man the two would not have grown
wealth. Elisenda charges an entrance as the crowd come to see this old man with feathers, in a
shabby looking and even when the people pluck his feathers and throw stones at him the man still
remains silent.
8. What was the impact on you, the reader, when the first paragraph tells you, “Now
I am an axolotl”? Why does the first paragraph end this way?
The Axolotl is a very strange creature. In the story it becomes the object of the obsession. This is
a bizarre creature all on its own. Most creatures when they lose a limp no longer recuperate it. Not
so with the Axolotl. They have unique ability to regenerate and regrow whole limps once they
have been sloughed off, bitten or otherwise separated from the body. The impact of the definition
of the nature of Axolotl to me as reader is that it poses some fear. The nature of the definition gives
it extra-ordinary features. They are not the same as the other amphibians that spend the larval
lifetime in water but for the case of Axolotl they remain in their larval form for all lives. This at
the same time creates curiosity to me as a reader about the nature of this amphibian, whether they
exist in real life situation and probably where.
9. Is this narrator insane? If so, is he insane like Montresor? If he is not insane,
how comfortable are you with the absurdity of his situation? Do you need a
“sane” explanation?
Montresor states that he has suffered a thousand insults and injuries from Fortunato and that he
must have vengeance against him, so he planned Fortunato’s murder. No detail of these insults and
injuries are ever given, leading the reader to wonder if they are all Montresor’s mind. Fortunato
greets Montresor in a very friendly way and offers to help Montresor decide if the wine is a true
Amontillado and persists in going through the catacombs despite the dankness in the passageway.
This clearly shows that Montresor is insane in the ‘Cask of Amontillado’ the narrator of this story
unlike Montresor is not insane. The absurdity of the situation is used to capture the attention of the
reader. It creates an environment of suspense in which the reader is more interested to know much
more about the story. This is the artistic device that the author uses to attract the reader to go
through the story.
10. How do you interpret the idea that there is no understanding “outside the tank”?
Could this statement be applied to something other than not understanding a
salamander?
In the words of Julio Cortazar, I didn’t care to look up any of the specialized works, but the next
day I went back to the Jardin des plantes. I began to go every morning, morning and afternoon
somedays. The aquarium guard smiled perplexedly taking my ticket. I would lean up against the
iron bar in front of the tanks and set to watching them. The definition given to the Axolotl was that
this was an amphibian that does not develop any more from the larvae. This Axolotl spend much
of their time in the water. From the definition this is salamander. All the outstanding definition
that is used to define the Axolotl defined the nature of how a salamander is.

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