Simulacra by Julio Cortàzar: Questions and Answers | Major English Class 11



Simulacra by Julio Cortàzar: Questions and Answers |  Major English Class 11
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Simulacra by Julio Cortàzar: Questions and Answers |  Major English Class 11

Simulacra by Julio Cortàzar


Simulacra by Julio Cortàzar

The narrator of this short story describes his family members at first. According to him, his family members are quite uncommon compared to others because they do things freely. All his family members are quite creative and believe in doing unique tasks like copying exact things or objects. The narrator confesses that they lack originality. They apply things in their lives by copying exact things from others. This story has presented the perspective of people towards new ideas and uncommon things. Most people reject uncommon things in our society. The narrator of this story has shared his experience with all the readers regarding his family's task of erecting the structure of gallows in their front yard and even the reactions of his neighbours. According to the narrator's elder uncle, the entire family decided to construct the gallows in their front yard of the house. To achieve this goal, all the members performed their roles. The front yard was quite suitable to build the platform for gallows. There was no tension or disturbance by the passersby due to the garden's high railings. The family members kept on doing different tasks to construct that structure. Their uncommon task of constructing gallows in their house's front and their different activities attracted neighbours' attention. The neighbours started gathering close to the railings. They started protesting against their tasks. They even threatened them. They objected to their tasks and disturbed the narrator's family by pulling out the poplar trunk. But the family members won in that pulling game. The neighbours' complaint to the police. The police arrived there but found nothing wrong and returned. This task of the narrator's family created curiosity, anger, and even expectation among the neighbours. Most of the neighbours went back to their houses, upset. Some neighbours waited there but found nothing to meet their expectations. They lit their cigarettes and moved back to their homes. The narrator's family enjoyed this uncommon task much, but the neighbours didn't find their task interesting.


Simulacra by Julio Cortàzar


1. What is the story about?


The story is about a family and their uncommon task of erecting a structure of gallows in their front yard, which has created curiosity, annoyance, and expectation among their neighbours. 

2. What is the family building in their front yard? Why do the neighbours protest against it?


The family is building a gallows structure in their front yard. The neighbours protest against it because they feel quite bad about the uncommon task of the family. They find the task quite unusual. They try to disturb their task and threaten family members. They even complained about their task to the police.

3. Who does the narrator live with? How does he prove that his family was very uncommon?


The narrator lives with his family members on Humboldt Street. He proves that his family was very uncommon through his description. According to him, his family members did things freely. They preferred to do independent occupations or jobs. They could easily make an exact copy of others. He gives a fine example of his family's uncommon task of erecting a gallows structure in their front yard.


1. “We're like carbon copies, identical with the original except another colour, another paper, another end product.” Explain this statement with reference to the story.


This statement has been taken from the short story "Simulacra" by Julio Cortàzar. This statement has been made by the narrator's elder uncle to his family members about their family's unique task of copying others. In this statement, he is talking about his family members unique qualities. According to him, his family members are like carbon copies of others. They are familiar with originality but not with the original colour, paper, or end product. They lack originality, but they can make an exact copy of original things. His family members are quite good at duplicating others. They enjoy the task of copying others.


1. Describe the story 'Simulacra' as a form of metafiction.


This story, "Simulacra," is a form of metafiction. Metafiction is a form of self-referential literature concerned with the art and devices of fiction itself. It is all in all about a fictional plot or novel where the author tries to make all the readers aware that they are reading a fictional creation, not a real one.

Metafiction tells us about the fictional plot, characters, and their tasks. This story is about fiction that depends on the writer's imaginative creativity.

We find the fiction to be the main subject of this story. It has presented the fictional tasks of imaginary characters. We can see the direct involvement of the writer here in this story with his forcible comments. Here, we find an imaginative narrator who addresses his readers directly. The story of simulacra keeps on constructing unreal or unnatural events and even making its readers realise that they are reading fictional creations. Here, the story doesn't have a single truth or meaning. It moves on with the writer's imagination, where he imagines imaginary characters and their imaginary tasks. We can find fictional experiments by the writer in the story to create the meaning of the story in his way. It has refused conventional plots.


1. What is metafiction? How does it differ from fiction?


Metafiction is a form of self-referential literature concerned with the art and devices of fiction itself. It is fiction about fiction that comments on itself and calls attention to its fictional status. It keeps on doing experiments with its form to create meanings. Metafiction is quite away from the real or natural aspect and makes its readers aware that they are reading fictional creations. It refuses ordinary plots. Metafiction is self-conscious about language, literary form, and story-telling, and works of metafiction directly or indirectly draw attention to their status as artefacts.

On the other hand, fiction is literature in the form of prose, especially novels, that describes imaginary events and people. It is a creation that is invented or untrue. It presents an imaginary plot, characters, and events.

2. Do you agree that uncommon things are not accepted easily in our community? Explain.


Yes, I agree that uncommon things are not accepted easily in our community. A community is a place where people of different mentalities live. Most people are quite away from the concept of uncommon things. They don't have any places for uncommon things in their lives. They only believe in common as well as familiar things. The people who believe in uncommon things and engage themselves in uncommon tasks are rejected by our community. Those people who involve themselves in such uncommon tasks are regarded as insane or crazy. They are not taken seriously, and their ideas are always refused directly. People always step back in the matter of accepting uncommon things because of uncertainty. We can easily get the examples from past times too. Most of the scientific researchers were considered insane in the past due to their uncommon ideas as well as tasks. The same thing is prevalent in our community at the present time, too. People always try to be away from the ideas of uncommon things as well as tasks.





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