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The Shape of the Sword

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Kaitlyn Melendez

on 28 February 2014

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Transcript of The Shape of the Sword

The Englishman's Story....
What is the importance of the title of this short story?
- The Englishman
- The Narrator
- John Vincent Moon
Plot Summary
Story Background
- Written by Jorge Lewis Borges
- Written in 1944
Takes place after the Irish War of Independence that lasted from 1919 to 1921
The Englishman is in the war and is retelling the narrator his experience and how he got a moon shaped scar
The Shape of the

The Englishman
Very mysterious
Keeps to himself
Hides his identity
Member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Has an arc shaped scar on his face
The Narrator
The author of the story
Curious about the Englishman
Determined to find out about the scar
John Vincent Moon
Also was a member of the IRA
Sells out his comrade
Not much is known about him
The narrator is aware of the English man who is unknown to society
He has a few drinks with the Englishman and then asks him about his scar
The Englishman asks the narrator not to judge him when he tells the story
What is the significance of the shape of the scar?
Vincent Moon gets shot and the Englishman saves him
They go to General Berkeley's country house for shelter
The Englishman notices a "scimitar from Nishapur" which is an Arabian sword, in the house
The Englishman realizes Moon is a coward
Overhears Moon speaking on the phone suggesting to arrest the Englishman
The Englishman takes this as a threat and "carved into his face forever a half moon of blood"
Realizing after the Englishman admits that he carved the moon shaped scar into the face of his comrade, the narrator becomes confused
The Englishman IS the one with the scar...
His true identity is revealed, he is Vincent Moon
Irish War of Independence
A war fought between the Irish Republican Army and the British Government.
Great Britain brought in soldiers called "Black and Tans"
War ended in a ceasefire on July 11, 1921
The shape of the scar is significant for two reasons...
It is in the same shape as the sword that was used to inflict the wound.
It is a reminder to Vincent Moon of his betrayal to his comrade and how he must live with it for the rest of his life.
Kristen Pacello, John LaLena and Kaitlyn Melendez
The title is significant
The shape of the sword is similar to a crescent moon which is the same shape as the scar on Moon's face.
Why did the Englishman not want to be judged at the beginning of his story?
He does not want to be labeled as a coward or a traitor
He does not want to be known for what he did in his past because he knows that people will look down on him

By Jorge Luis Borges
Full transcript