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Use Of Plot And Sensory Description In Julio Cortazar's Face Up

1244 words - 5 pages

How do you know that a dream is really a dream or if reality is real? The ‘Night Face Up’ is a short story written by Julio Cortazar depicting a nameless protagonist who flips between dream and reality. The main character is switching between a hospital setting between the 1950’s and 1980’s, and an ancient Aztec area. The man experiences a world where he was recently involved in a motorcycle accident and ends up in the hospital with a broken arm. In the Aztec area he is running for his life as he is being hunted down to be a human sacrifice. This story leaves a lasting impression on the reader and achieves unity of effect through the authors use of plot and sensory description.
The use of tactile description within the story lets the reader feel what the protagonist feels and creates a stronger connection between the protagonist and the reader. When the protagonist “[feels] thirsty as if he’d been running for miles” (268) the reader begins to imagine that feeling. The tactile description in the story is that which most people feel at one point in their lives like “the coolness of mineral water in [ones] fevered throat” (270), therefore we associate and connect with it it. Through this effect the situations that the protagonist encounters feels more real, leaving a lasting impression on the reader.
Throughout the story the protagonist remains nameless. This gives the protagonist an anonymity and allows the character to be more versatile. The reader can imagine a variety of people in this position allowing each individual reader to customize the character to their own likings. Allowing each reader to have their own interpretations on the character himself allowing for a grater personal connection to the story.
Through the authors gustatory description the reader is drawn in to the story at a deeper state. After the protagonist is in the car accident he feels “the taste of salt and blood” (265) this is something that the reader has most likely experienced at some point in their lives therefore the reader connects and associates to the story, leaving a lasting impression on the reader.
The use of tactile description within the story lets the reader feel what the protagonist feels.Also a stronger connection between the reader and the characters and situations within the novel as the reader is drawn into the story at a deeper level. When the protagonist “[feels] thirsty as if he’d been running for miles” (268) the reader begins to imagine that feeling. The tactile description in the story is that which most people have experienced at some point in their lives like “the coolness of mineral water in [ones] fevered throat” (270) therefore we associate our own feelings and experiences to the story.
The story achieves unity of effect through the authors use of auditory description. As the protagonist os about to be executed in the Aztec realm “he heard the great kettledrums of the feast” (270), a “hoarse yell that rocked off the walls [and...

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