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The Night Face Up

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Taylor Maitland

on 28 May 2013

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Transcript of The Night Face Up

The Night Face Up By: Julio Cortázar Author Information Elements of Writing Sacrifice Ritual Julio Cortázar His Writing Style Inception video Legend of the Warrior Political Reasons Other Theories Table of Contents War of the Blossom The Author Context of the Story . Context of the story

. Author information

. Exploring elements of writing

. Exploring elements of writing cont.

. Analysis of the two worlds

. Questions

. Game . The Aztec world is currently involved in a Blossom War or Flower War.

. Fought between the Aztec Triple Alliance and their enemies, as the Aztec gods saw humans as flowers be to uprooted.

. Instigated by the supreme Aztec ruler at the time, due to a great famine that occurred during the reign of Moctezuma, which could only be ended by means of human sacrifice.

. Starts at the beginning of the moon, and the hunt would continue until the priest orders for it to stop. . Two enemy states plan battles in order to satisfy the religious needs for war captives for sacrificial rituals.

. Wear down the enemy in order to later conquer them entirely. After towns were conquered their inhabitants were no longer candidates for human sacrifice, only regular tribute.

. All victims were "disposable" commoners or foreigners or those who committed crimes.

. Slaves also could be used only if considered lazy and had been resold three times. . There was a powerful warrior, who was captured, but because of his fame he was freed and then fought with the Aztecs. He received honours, but he chose to die in sacrifice.

. There were eight days of celebrations in his honour, and then he escaped and killed the first eight warriors he saw.

. Still insisting on being sacrificed, he fought and wounded 20 more warriors before being defeated. . Trained to prefer capturing their enemies in battle to killing them, and involvement could mobilize the lower classes.

. Taking prisoners are a function of institutionalized terror rather than the normal course of warfare.

. Served the interests of their captors much better when their deaths were made into a civic and religious spectacle.

. The ruling Aztec dynasty demonstrated political power and coerced its citizenry toward certain social norms. . Born in Brussels, Belgium in 1914, and moves back to Buenos Aires, Argentina at age 4.
. Went to teachers college, worked as high school teacher. Was a professor in French Literature.
. Involved with politics, which shadowed much of his work.
. Worked as a freelance translator.
. Moves to Paris in 1951.
. Because of politics, he was banned from
entering Argentina.
. When his seven-year ban
was finally lifted, he visited
his home country many times.
. Died in Paris, France in 1984 due to
cancer. . He was a master of the fantastical short story.
. Stories always involved hallucinations, and warping of reality,
alternate realities and parallel worlds.
. Always a theme of hidden reality in everyday normal life.
. Almost always follows the pattern of real world setting then fantastical elements “invade.”
. “House Taken Over” and “Blown Up”
are his most famous short stories.
. Hopscotch is his most famous novel.
. Started writing at age 9. Encouraged by
mother.
. He was part of the Surrealism movement. Surrealism . Began in the late 1910s and early 20s.
. Drew on the ideas of psychologists such as Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Karl Marx.
. Involved “automatic writing” that released the imagination of the subconscious mind.
. Imagery in Surrealism was free from social expectations. They were often quite surprising. Dream Theory . Sigmund Freud’s ideas involved dividing the “self” into three parts:

. ID: concerned with desires and urges, impulses and want. Materialized in dreams, and subconscious instinct.

. EGO: the conscious part of the mind. Concerned with logic, rational thought, and morals.

. SUPEREGO: The security guard for the ID.
A referee between the ID and EGO. AKA
“arguments with yourself.”’ Contrasts The author uses contrasts to:

. Expose the drastic differences between the worlds.
. Juxtapose the goodness and peacefulness of the modern world with the savagery of the Aztecs
. Contrast the fear of danger in the Aztec world with the safety and protection of the modern world.
. Express a difference of moods between the two worlds Contrasts cont. Light vs. Dark Timeline Modern World City Hospital Diction~Effectively Contrasting . Diction was used to demonstrate the difference between the two worlds

. Within the hospital world, the diction used is relaxed, comforting, and slightly hazy.
For example: "Soft shadows wrapped him around..a translucent shape against the dark azure of the windows"

. This contrasts with the diction used during the Aztec world, which is disordered and stark
For example: "But the reek lifted, and instead there came a dark, fresh, composite fragrance" Narrative Voice~Furthering the Plot .Told in third person this means from the observance of one looking in

.Narrator uses juxtaposition: placing two things close together so they can be contrasted

.Narrator is limited, he cannot relate the thoughts and feelings of the other characters, he is limited to just the protagonist. Patterns of Imagery~Colour and Natural Imagery . Colour Imagery: Colour used in a pattern, effectively contrasting the differences of the two worlds

.White: Represents a restful sanctuary, Black: Represents a fearful, confusing place

.White is used within the hospital world to demonstrate that it is a place of safety, a sanctuary

.The colour black surfaces within the Aztec world, showing that it is a fearful, uncertain place

. Natural Imagery: Imagery within Nature that further exemplifies the differences of the worlds

.While the natural imagery of the hospital world is
characterized by neatness and order, the nature within
the Aztec world is frightening and uninviting Patterns of Imagery~Connecting Images/Images
of Life and Death . Images of life and death are images used to represent the Moteca's fate in the two worlds (The amulet and the x-ray)

. Connecting images are images that connect the two worlds through their similarity

For example:
. The stone slab and the hospital bed
. The torches of the Aztec world and the lights in the hospital
. The amulet and the water bottle
. The stone knife and the needle/surgery Realizations of Central Characters . Realizations that the reader comes to concerning the central character:
1) The central character is a victim of solipism
2)That proving the reality of one of the worlds is not the predominant point

. Realizations that the central character
comes to:
1) The central character longs for a
sanctuary from his hectic, terrifying
world
2)The central character is forever
trapped inside the Aztec world Examining the Worlds Which world is the reality and which one is his dream? The Aztec World: . Hospital world jumps from event to event
. No longer understands modern technology
. Hospital world are 2 dimensional
. Hospital is white, hazy, and unclear
. Unable to feel the pain
. Much more vivid and clear
. More details about surroundings and senses
. Character decides to believe the Aztec in the end
. Escape from his horrible reality “someone in a dustcoat giving him a swallow of something soothing,”

“Someone tall and thin in white came over and began to look at the x-rays.”

“He tried to fix the moment of the accident exactly, and it got him very angry to notice that there was a void there, an emptiness he could not manage to fill.”

“The arm almost didn't hurt; blood dripped down from a cut over the eyebrow all over his face. He licked his lips once or twice to drink it. He felt pretty good.”

“Within five minutes the police ambulance arrived, and they lifted him into a cushioned stretcher. It was a relief for him to be able to lie out flat.”

“First a marshy smell, there to the left of the trail the swamps began already, the quaking bogs from which no one ever returned.”

“What tormented him most was the odour...
'It smells of war,' he thought.” Neither/Both . Author wrote to be ambiguous

. It doesn't matter which is which

. Narrator is confused himself

. Both worlds seem normal

. Dreams mimic real life

. Each feel real when he is in them

. If you believe it, it is real to you Question #1 “What aspects of the story indicate that chaos and order are really two sides of the same coin?”


. Clear that the Aztec world is seemingly much more uncivilized than the modern day hospital scene.
. The hospital is also a place of intense stress, given that it is a place for those who are injured or dying.
. Aspects such as his surgery, fever, and business of people proves that there is a lack of order.
. Situations can turn from orderly to anarchy in just a matter of moments,
. The scenarios also change so drastically that it causes the narrator to experience abrupt feelings of danger and worry, even when he can still remember being in the serene hospital environment.
. The priest emerges from the Aztec world to enter the hospital scene. He realizes that the hospital is the dream, and his reality is actually the world of anarchy. Question #2 "What is the significance of the title?" Question #3 "Examine the techniques Cortazar uses to heighten the suspense of the story. How does he manage to sustain the suspense even through the relatively calm periods when the protagonist escapes into the hospital room?" Question #4a Cortazar uses specific examples to remind us of the order and civilization when he speaks of the modern world. The diction and imagery used explore the character’s feelings of security. Natural Imagery is used to accentuate the safety and containment of the modern world: “a long street bordered with trees”, “spacious villas whose gardens rambled all the way down to the street.” hedges. Order is also illustrated in the description of the city: “the tall downtown buildings”, “the tidy stores bordering the streets, “effortless whirring of the motorcycle between his legs. ” He speaks with an attitude of calm , refers to the beauty and serenity of the day . Julio Cortazar was born in Belgium, but his parents were from Argentina.

. After his parents divorced he returned to Argentina, but spent most of his childhood in Banfield, south of Buenos Aires.

. Aztecs are from Central/South America., and share the forests and marshlands of Central/Southern America with the Motecas. Question #4b Protection vs. Harm Fear vs. Trust Civilization vs. savagery Aztec World- Dark and Savage

Modern World- Light and Civilized Julio Cortazar uses imagery and diction to establish the contrast between the two worlds by making the distinction between them very clear. Within the hospital world, the mood is relaxed and slightly hazy, this is reflected in the diction. However, with the introduction to the Aztec world, the Moteca's senses are heightened, making the diction more expressive and stark. For example, while within the Aztec world he experiences nervousness, "An unexpected sound made him crouch suddenly, stock-still and shaking," however, within the hospital world, he is at peace, "he tasted the broth still and, with a sigh of bliss, drifted off." The natural imagery used also exentuates the differences between the two worlds. The "long street bordered with trees" from the hospital world opposes the Aztec's "quaking bogs from which no one ever returned." Obviously, the diction and natural imagery used to introduce the Aztec world strongly contrast it from the hospital world. Hospital:

. Knows about modern technology
. Story starts in modern world
. Events happen first in hospital world
. Time passes when he dreams

"First there was a confusion, as of one drawing all his sensations,
for that moment blunted or muddled, into himself. He realized
that he was running in pitch darkness.”

“He opened his eyes and it was afternoon, the sun already low
in the oversized windows of the long ward.” The significance of the title “The Night Face Up” is simply tying together the imagery of the story. In the story, there are many instances where the protagonist is lying on his back, face up. To list a few, there is when he is under his motorcycle from the crash, and when he is on a stretcher. He has his surgery on his back, and he lays face up the entire time when he’s in the hospital. In the other world, he is strapped onto the ground, waiting for the sacrifice, and presumably killed on his back by the priest. The “night” part is when most of the Aztec world takes place. The Protagonist is running in the night for his life. When the modern world falls into confusion, it is also approaching night time. Lastly, the whole story questions perspective and the confusion takes place in-between dream and reality. Dreams occur at night, when –most probably- the person is face up, sleeping. . Diction: - abruptly, shadowy, terrible shock, reek, dark, starless night, desperately, pitch darkness, climbed like a fen scorpion
. Senses: “The smell of the war was unbearable,” “But he smelled death.”
. Emotions: Fear
. Reader's response: Fear of the unknown
. Foreshadowing
. Smooth transitions between worlds
. Vague and ambiguous: Constantly confused
. Cliff hangers
. In the back of his mind "Read the first two paragraphs that first describe the Aztec world (beginning, "It was unusual as a dream..."). How does the author use diction and imagery to establish the contrast between the two worlds?" . Modern city presumably in Mexico set sometime after the 1950’s

. Early morning “ten till nine”

. Orderly “long street, lined with trees...separated by low hedges”

. Civilized and modern- street lights, motorcycles, tall downtown buildings

. Portrayed as dreamy and calm . Brought to the hospital around mid morning.

. Comforting- “bare protecting ceiling”, “All was pleasant and secure”,
soft darkness that surrounded him”

. Comfortable- “ soft stretcher”, “sighed with happiness”

. Invokes a feeling of trust

. Hospital portrayed as bright, positive, friendly, white, calm, even surreal.

. At least a whole day and a night has passed Setting . Running during the night

. The savage world of the Aztec jungles, tangled with lashing branches

. An obscure path pressed in between marshes and quagmires.

. A world dominated by fear- “A sudden noise made him duck and left him
immobile, trembling.”

. Clarity- his senses are all alert. He feels the pain of whipping
branches, smells the stench of death, sees the burning torches, and
hears the footsteps following him. . Carried to top of Teocalli temple to be sacrificed on a cloudless
night (he glimpses the stars and waning moon)

. Describes the temple as dominated by stairways, and “the red rock,
brilliant with dripping blood, and “the bloodied figure of the high
priest”

. Clarity- dominated by his senses “the odor of humidity and damp rock”,
“the biting of ropes into his flesh”, “the hoarse scream echoing off
the rocks”, the sight of the “perfumed smoke and bonfires ascending
into the sky”

. Terror and resignation occupy his thoughts. “He know that he would not
wake, that he was awake” Temple Jungle Sacrifice Ritual Aztec World A man is riding his motorbike in a Mexican city during mid 1950’s A Motecan man is chased by Aztecs. He is probably in the Mexican Valley anywhere from the 12th to 16th century Gets in an accident on a calm street Carried to the X-ray room and surgery While running through the dense jungle, he loses his path, trying to avoid the swamps. Eats soup and drinks water at the hospital, expressing comfort. Sinks into the mud as twigs lash his legs and torso. Leaps out of bed, but feels secure Is surrounded by Aztecs, and sinks his blade into a warrior’s chest. Wakes up to the protective atmosphere of the ward. Bound to a stone slab, cold, and deprived of his amulet. Carried through damp, torchlit tunnels into a cloudless night Wakes abruptly and tries to focus on the the serenity of the hospital Perfumed smoke and torches line the steps of the temple where he is to be sacrificed. Realizes his inability to “wake up”. Reality becomes dream Dream becomes reality "Read the first two paragraphs closely. How does the author use diction and imagery to emphasize the theme of order and civilization?"
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