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The Analogy Essay

1071 words - 5 pages

A person’s past life is really important because it shapes the individual to be the kind of person he/she will be in the future. No matter how much we try, we can’t rid ourselves of our past nor can we run away from it. It’s embedded in our memories and will always remain to do so. In the short story “Xmas”, by Russell Banks, we meet the protagonist, Gregory Dodd who tries to run away from his past and avoid it. Eventually, the reader will learn what the consequences of such an action can lead to. Through the epiphany that the protagonist, Gregory Dodd, undergoes, Banks illustrates the consequences of avoiding one’s past; the nature of the epiphany is defined by the car collision, and ...view middle of the document...

” Instead, he likes to think of them as “ended” and “over and done with” where he can “begin anew” again. Through his interior monologue, we learn that “by falling in love with Susan, he felt that had moved into a new block of time, one that was endless-seeming as each of the others had been in the beginning” ( ). This particular passage demonstrates that Gregory certainly doesn’t view his life as a continuum as psychologically stable people normally would do. Instead, he prefers to think of his past as “distinct blocks in time” ( ) where he can live in the chapter that he wishes to live in. Another passage which shows that Gregory tries hard to avoid his past life is when he lets Susan’s kids fill his role of “Santa Clause” that his own kids once did. He avoids his past and doesn’t learn anything from them by feeding himself lies, but fails to see that one’s past is an important part in shaping the person you are today. His delusions are so firmly fixed in his mind that it is leading him to live in an illusion without his awareness. For example, when he collides with the car in front of him and the driver punches him, he instantly thinks that he “must have broken [his] mouth by accident” ( ). This shows once again that he is in denial. It is trivial to tell yourself lies. However, by being convinced that those lies are true, while still knowing that they are lies can have great consequences, which is exactly what Banks shows through Gregory’s character. Because of his self-deception, Gregory has become delusional.
The fact that Gregory is listening to Messiah on the radio while driving is very symbolic here. When he collides with the car and the drivers slams his fist into his face, Gregory gets a wakeup call. In a way, one can think of the driver as being the Messiah himself who has come to bring Gregory out of his delusional world. Additionally, the fact that it’s Christmas...

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