REFLECTION OF APPENDIX ON CARMEN
In this essay, I will discuss how Prosper Merimee’s mode of thought in appendix is reflected and the way the characters are demonstrated according to appendix in “Carmen”. The final chapter of the story “Carmen”, which is about the history, life style, Romany language, exclusive relationship manners and physical characteristics of the race called Gypsies, is added later to the story depending upon the point of view of the narrator. Thus, an ethnographic research dimension was added to this literary work. The French historian, archaeologist and short story writer Prosper Merimee who knows the ways of the world in an academic sense, examines the world of Gypsies objectively through his travels and research in Spain. Merimee’s novel belongs to the realist genre and as a hopeless romantic; he has a propensity for exotic people and exotic lands. When we read the story, we learn the presentation of culture through the filter of anthropology. This particular way of life describes Gypsies as free, rebellious, and marginal community. “Carmen” is based on the narrator’s experiences and the chain of events during his travel to the southern Spain.
In the first chapter, Merimee himself as a narrator frames the story in Andalusia of 1830, and then he introduces the first oriental character, Basque Don Jose. When the narrator tells the physical appearance of Don Jose, according to appendix we notice that gypsies’ physical traits are different from the indigenous peoples of the same country such as dark skin, dark almond-shaped eyes, proud expression and so forth. Moreover, Don Jose grips his horse’s halter in his one hand, and in his other hand he holds a brass blunderbuss. Considering the sentence in appendix, “The men make a living as horse dealers, horse doctors, or mule clippers; they supplement this work by occupations such as repairing saucepans and copper utensils, to say nothing of smuggling and other illicit activities.”, we affirm...
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