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Critical Comparison Of The Content And Literary Devices Used In Bon Voyage, Mr. President By Gabriel Garcia Marquez And The Perplexing Simplicity Of A

1468 words - 6 pages

Critical Comparison of the Content and Literary Devices Used in Bon Voyage, Mr. President by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and The Perplexing Simplicity of a Lack of Nothing

Bon Voyage, Mr President is a short story written by Gabriel Garcia
Marquez. This is a tale of a South American President in exile.
Nearing the end of his days, we are given an insight into the life of
a man with injured pride, reminiscing the days that went by and so
fast, where the President had lost everything he had worked for and


Bon Voyage, Mr. President

‘Resting on the silver handle of his cane’

This quotation emphasises the Presidents elegance and importance. His
importance is enforced by the fact he carries a cane and not a common
walking stick. A cane being the common tool of intimidation used by
the military and by those who feel they are superior to the average
civilian. The silver handle on the cane illustrates his elegance. He
had style, elegance and capital, as well as authority, his overall
effect being a man of status.

‘He was one more incognito in the city of illustrious incognitos’

This quotation is a contradiction. Incognito means in disguise, while
illustrious means to stand out. This paradox sums up the President;
he wants to not be noticed, but still wants fame. So while wearing
clothes everyone else was wearing, something would make him stand
out. He wants fame and power, but not for being the President in

‘Only the weariness of his skin betrayed the state of his health’

Where the president dressed stylishly, with fine clothes, and his hair
did not give away hints of age, with strands of grey hair, his skin
was haggard and wrinkled that of an old man. The quotation shows that
the president looked young and acted young, and if it were not for his
skin he could have passed for a younger man.

‘On his first visit to Geneva the lake had been calm and clear and
there were tame gulls that would eat of one’s hand’

This is a good example of Rhetoric. It uses sub textual language and
Marquez uses persuasive writing. This statement implies that the
president was very powerful and using the gulls as an analogy,
compares them to civilians and how, once, they were at his beck and


‘When arriving in Trinidad he became one more poor man in a country
full of powerful poor men’

This quotation is a contradiction; the stereo-typical poor person
would not be powerful. This paradox expresses how the President must
have felt. Opposed to his power and wealth from running a country, he
was now somewhat inferior. In exile in a foreign country, he was
surrounded by men that were raised in this milieu. Powerful, by the
means, that they knew and almost dictated how everything worked.

‘Only the slight problem of not...

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