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"Two Words" Short Story Analysis
Transcript of "Two Words" Short Story Analysis
What do Words do for the people?
give the people a way to comunicte through Belisa
improve the peoples dreams
cast off enemies
drive away melancholy
let the people learn from others in different parts of the country or even continent
bring people together through the writing of love letters
help educate and inform the people about the civil war
they give the people inspiration, hope, joy, wonder, and love
What are the two words given to the colonel?
There are an endless number of possible pairs of words that Belisa could have given to the Colonel. But there is one pair of words that stands out. Te amo, or I love you translated to Spanish. This is logical because the story was translated from Spanish. It is also logical because of the effect the colonel has on Belisa when she first sees him and the impact it has on the colonel when Belisa tells him his two words.
What effect does the colonel have on Belisa?
What effect do the two words have on the Colonel?
When Belisa first hears the proposed assignment from the Colonel she accepts it for three reasons. The first reason being that Belisa fears she will be shot if she doesn’t agree to sell the Colonel the words for his presidential speech. The second coming when she fears “or worse still, that the Colonel would burst into tears.” This shows that Belisa has some sort of good feelings for the Colonel. She expresses these feelings furthermore by saying “There was more to it than that, however, she (Belisa) felt the urge to help him because she felt a throbbing warmth beneath her skin, a powerful desire to touch that man, to fondle him, to clasp him in her arms.” This strong connection to the Colonel is what makes it obvious that Belisa has an overwhelming love for the man. This is the first, but not the last time Belisa proclaims her love for the Colonel, the later coming when she hands the finished speech to him. The book says, “again she felt the throbbing anxiety that had seized her when she first saw him.” This is supplementary evidence that Belisa his in love with the Colonel and gives great reason for her to tell him in the two words “Te amo” or I love you.
The Colonel begins as a very unforgiving man who has been crafted by years of fighting wars. It is only when Belisa whispers the two words into his ear that he is finally set free of his terrible reputation. During his presidential campaign the Colonels comrades notice a change in his personality as though he was continually mesmerized, mesmerized by the two words. “He was repeating his secret words, as he did more and more obsessively. He said then when he was mellow with nostalgia; he murmured them in his sleep; he carried them with him on horseback; he thought of them before delivering his famous speech; and he caught himself savouring them in his leisure time. And every time he thought of those two words, he thought of Belisa Crepusculario, and his senses were inflamed with the memory of her feral scent, her fiery heat, the whisper of her hair, and her sweetmint breath in his ear, until he began to go around like a sleepwalker, and his men realized that he might die before he ever sat in the presidential chair.” This is proof that the two words have a substantial effect on the Colonel and must be related to love. This is clearly seen when the story describes how he sees and loves Belisa and how he can not think of one without the other. It is validation that the two words are “Te amo” because whenever he thinks of the two words he thinks of what he loves, what he longs to say “I love you” to.
We can infer that this story takes place some time within the last century in a Spanish speaking South American country. This means that there would have been very little communicative technology by today’s standards. Without these technologies the most widely used communication in the sparsely populated areas would have been word of mouth. With Belisa traveling from town to town she gave the people a link to one another. She brought peoples stories of life events to relatives and friends throughout her nation, but it was not the raw details that the town’s people were looking for. Rather it was the hope, joy, wonder, and inspiration that these stories produced.
by Isabel Allende
This story follows the journey of a young lady
named Belisa who travels her country selling words. One day she is confronted by the feared Colonel who requests her to help him write a presidential speech. This is because he no longer wants to be feared by the people of his country but rather admired. Upon the completion of her task Belisa also gives the Colonel two special words of his own. These words along with the speech soften the Colonels
personality so much that he is the favourite for
the election and eventually he is reunited
with Belisa, his love.
This story most likely takes place in a Spanish speaking South American country. This is known by the currency that is dealt throughout the story. It is also likely that it takes place in the last century. This is evident by many
things including the choice modes of transportation, by foot, or by horse.
the true power of words
During the story Belisa is constantly overcoming the nearly insane challenges that she faces. Belisa was born into a family so poor they did not even have any names to give to their children. She survived through floods, droughts, and hunger when her siblings did not, which left her next in line for death. But Belisa made her way across the plains and found water, and along with it a paying occupation. She discovers words and how to use them. She finally has a purpose and a name, the poetry of beauty and twilight woven together.
Despite the odds Belisa and the Colonel, although maybe unknown to them at the time, both find what they are looking for, love. The unlikely pair ends up together after a series of events beginning with the Colonel kidnapping Belisa to write his presidential speech. It is no wonder after this that they are intertwined for good. After all the Colonel is trying to be less of a forceful war hungry man, which would most likely be irresistible for most women that could use a protective companion in their life. It could also be said that each of the Colonel’s and Belisa’s loves in life brought them together. Belisa with her writing and the Colonel with his desire to give up his fighting image enveloped them before they even knew it.
The power of words
“Two Words” shows the true potential power of words. When used correctly words can accomplish anything. Belisa used words to make a job for herself to be able to get by without wondering when her next meal might be. Belisa used words to transform the Colonel from the outcast and into the front runner of the presidential campaign. Through the paragraphs of words that Belisa had written for the Colonel people were swayed to like him. To go even further Belisa swayed the Colonel to love her by giving him just two simple words.