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Commentary on a passage taken from "The Blindfolded Horse"

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Introduction

This passage, taken from The Blindfold Horse: Memories of a Persian Childhood written by Shusha Guppy, is a memoire that mainly revolves around the narrator's recollection of "the Blindfold horse". The plot revolves around the narrator's memory of a blindfold horse that turns unceasingly in a circular path in order to perform a task. The setting takes place in "a narrow, muddy street " in which the narrator walks with his mother during the time of winter that is described as gloomy and lifeless. The blindfold horse becomes a symbol of the narrator himself and thus, a symbol of humanity and its metaphoric blindness towards the cyclical meaninglessness of life. There are three important categories in the given excerpt. The first is the reader's first impressions formed by the passage which resolve around setting, character, title and point of view. The second one is language and structure of the excerpt that deal with the imagery, symbolism, and diction. Finally, the excerpt reveals the author's attitude and the use of irony. All of these reflect the thematic significance of the excerpt and thus raise the themes of illusionary content despite life's hardships and the theme of reality versus illusion. The reader's first impressions towards the excerpt resolve around the title, setting, characters, and point of view which manage to portray a place filled with darkness. ...read more.

Middle

Thus, the image of the curtain described in the passage could symbolize the barrier shielding the child from the reality of life which is filled with darkness. . In addition, the first person point helps the reader contrast between the narrator's thoughts and ideas when he was a na�ve child and when he grows up and realizes the darkness in life. Likewise, the author uses diction in the word "apprehensively" because the child is uneasy and does not want to be exposed to life's hardships. He also uses imagery appealing to the sense of smell such as "spicy". Spicy here refers to the difficult nature of life that is filled with hard labor. The writer uses an oxymoron of "yellow" and "dark". Yellow-which is constantly repeated in the text- is a symbol of light and hope and is contrasted with the dark. The writer places this contrast to in order to set apart illusion from reality. What is more, the "dark room" in which the narrator encounters the blindfold horse is filled with "clouds of yellow dust". This image of the yellow dust filling the dark room could be symbolic of the cloud-like illusion that the narrator had when he entered the room. Moreover, the writer uses diction such as "emaciated" to make the horse look lethargic. This adds to the overall "worked out" mood of the passage as a result of life's labor. ...read more.

Conclusion

The "single glass eye in the domed ceiling far above" that shoots light might be considered as a symbol for religion since a dome is the shape of several religion places. The dome stands right above the horse that is turning around in endless circular path. This might imply that religion itself is just turning around and around without getting to any path or direction in life. The author might want to portray religion as something that does not give answers to life because it does not really get anywhere in explaining itself. Furthermore, the yellow light formed by the dome might stand as a symbol of illusionary happiness because some people follow religion thinking it will lead them to the right way in life and provide them with all of the answers they need. However, the author might want to show the readers that religion doesn't provide any happiness or light in life because it is just like the blindfold horse, it thinks it's going in the right direction but it is just in fact turning around without getting anywhere. In conclusion, the writer uses the element of flashback effectively in order to convey the notion of an epiphany brought forth from child-like curiosity and naivety. Furthermore, the memoire acts as a criticism of humanity through the narrator's eyes, and thus through the symbolism of the horse. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 5 of 5 ...read more.

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