Readin Journal — A Distant Episode Essay

Reading Journal – Paul Bowels’ and “A Distant Episode” Setting is crucial in this story. Even though Bowels doesn’t explicitly say which country the professor is in, we can assume he is in the Middle East by his mention of traveling to the “warm country (403). We can also safely assume that the professor is a linguist that specializes in Arabic. I was struck by the satire of this story. The Professor, a specialist in languages has his tongue pulled out so he will never speak again.

The man swiftly seized his tongue and pulled on it with all his might” (410). Earlier, the Professor had repeatedly insulted the sequoia with his cultural aloofness. His academia background seemed to be no help to him in his encounters. He fumbled around clumsily in this new culture, groping blindly to seem culturally competent. He brusquely mentions wanting to buy “little boxes made from camel udders” (404) which insults the sequoia. He tries to fix things by offering money, an obvious habit of Western Civilization.

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His cultural ineptitude and clumsiness are eventually silenced when his tongue is cut out. He then becomes a tin man – “a valuable possession. ” (411). My question Is, does the Professor undergo a change, or is he the same man after the ordeal? After our In-class discussion, I don’t think the Professor changed. The story ends were it begins: a year passes before the Professor escapes. The story begins and ends with a sunset: “The September sunsets were endless” (401). At the end of the story he flees Into the setting sun.

The similarity of the beginning and ending make the story seem circular – as If no change occurred and instead the Professor was left exactly where he began. After his reckless decision to venture out Into unfamiliar land put him Into captivity, one would think that the Professor would be wiser after he escapes. I expected him to look for help. He could have approached the French solider because he would have been likely to find help, as they were both French. However, Just Like he did one year ago, the Professor ran lindy Into the vast open desert. The Professor ran beneath the arched gate, turned his face toward the red sky, and began to trot… Straight Into the setting sun” (414). He runs out Into the desert without provisions and without looking for any help. Even after experiencing the consequences of his rash decision to venture Into the desert a year ago, the Professor still throws himself Into the desert again. Still he seems to believe himself smarter than the desert and Its people. Reading Journal -? A Distant Episode By Sorenson ravening to the “warm country’ (403).

We can also safely assume that the professor is valuable possession. ” (411). My question is, does the Professor undergo a change, or is he the same man after the ordeal? After our in-class discussion, I don’t think the endless” (401). At the end of the story he flees into the setting sun. The similarity of the beginning and ending make the story seem circular – as if no change occurred to venture out into unfamiliar land put him into captivity, one would think that the as they were both French.

However, Just like he did one year ago, the Professor ran blindly into the vast open desert. “The Professor ran beneath the arched gate, turned his face toward the red sky, and began to trot… Straight into the setting sun” (414). He runs out into the desert without provisions and without looking for any help. Even after experiencing the consequences of his rash decision to venture into the desert a year ago, the Professor still throws himself into the desert again. Still he seems to believe himself smarter than the desert and its people.

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