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“I Came Only to Use the Phone”: Márquez’ Existential Nightmare of Conformity

Year: 1399
Language: EnglishView: 158
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Shahin Keshavarz - Department of English, Shiraz Payam Noor University, Iran
Mohammad-Javad Haj’jari - Department of English, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran


Existentialism paves the way against conformity and objectification and excludes the external impositions uponone’s life. Humankind is always free to choose and responsible for his/her actions, and it is through this process that thehe/she can lead an authentic life away from blindfoldedness. However, such existential potency is not always granted tohumanity due to the very situation of the mother society. As an allegory of the human condition in society, Márquez’ “ICame Only to Use the Phone” contrasts the individual’s subjectivity with the objectifying tools of the controllinginstitutions. As such, this short story highlights the process through which an individual loses his/her subjectivity withinthe conforming policies of the society and becomes an object against his/her initial will to freedom. Márquez’protagonist María represents an individual whose situation in society, in existential terms, is intricately establishedagainst her will to freedom in a way that freedom itself becomes imprisonment. Playing with the overtones of existentialfreedom, Márquez’ short story challenges the means to such freedom in a way that María's situation unveils theexistential fear that lies at the background of our existential struggles in life.


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Keshavarz, Shahin and Haj’jari, Mohammad-Javad,1399,“I Came Only to Use the Phone”: Márquez’ Existential Nightmare of Conformity,8th National Congress of New Finds in English Language Studies,Tehran,

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