CLIT 191 Midterm Rev.

CLIT 191 Midterm Rev. - Culture Literature 191 Midterm...

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Culture Literature 191 Midterm Review The Wild Ass's Skin Young man finds a magic piece of skin that fulfills his every desire For each wish granted, the skin shrinks and consumes a portion of his physical energy Attention to detail in describing the gambling house, antique shop, royal banquet Central conflict between desire and longevity – The skin represents the owners life force, which is depleted through every expression of will, especially when it is employed for the acquisition of power. Ignoring caution from the shopkeeper who offers him the skin to him, the protagonist greedily surround himself with wealth, only to find himself miserable and decrepit at the story's end. Part 1 – Raphael wagers and looses his last coin, decides on suicide. However he must wait until night to do it, thus he wanders into an old antique shop where he discovers the skin. He takes the skin and wishes for a royal banquet with wine, woman, and friends. Shortly after his wish he is met by an old acquaintance who invites him to such an event. Part 2 – Is a flashback in which Raphael complains to his friend Emile about his early days as a scholar, living in poverty while trying fruitlessly to win the heart of a beautiful but aloof woman name Foedora. Along the way he is tutored by an old man who encourages him to immerse himself in the wold of high society. Benefiting from the kindness of his landladies he eventually maneuvers himself into Foedora's circle of friends, however, he is unsuccessful in his attempts to win her affection and becomes miserable and destitute, as he is when we meet him in the gambling house. Part 3 – Begins several years after the feast and depicts Raphael, who has used the skin to secure wealth and affluence, in a sickly state as is the skin. Worried that any further desires will end his life he organizes his home and life in such a way to avoid any wishing, forcing his servant to organize and prepare everything. Events outside of his control cause him to wish, thus he seeks to find a way to stretch the skin. During this quest, he is visited by Feodora who expresses her love for him. When she learns about the skin and it's effects she attempts to flee, but Raphael rushes to follow her and declares that he wants to die in her arms as she is attempting suicide. They consummate their love in a fiery moment of passion upon which he perishes. Killed by love. REALISM IN DESCRIPTIONS Supernatural qualities of the skin demonstrated in its ability to fulfill every desire (ex. The duel) and also in its ability to resist the sciences and scientists who attempt to stretch it out.
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