To what extent has adversity been projected through the symbolism applied in the novella “No One writes to the Colonel”
Adversity has been projected to a great extent in the novella “No One Writes to the Colonel”. The colonel and his wife are shown fighting against grinding poverty, deprivation, loneliness, death of their only son and numerous hardships through symbolism throughout the novella.
In the beginning of the novella, the colonel finds “only one little spoonful” of coffee in the tin. The colonel is seen scraping the coffee tin, to take the last scrapings of coffee out. The couple has no money to buy even basic necessities of life and try to find ways to feed themselves somehow, for just some more time… This projects the idea of loneliness and emptiness in the colonel and his wife’s life. For pressing the colonel’s shirt, the wife heated irons on the coal stove. They could not afford anything more sophisticated, and just managed somehow with coals. Throughout the novella, the couple are seen living life at the brink, with no idea as to where their next meal will come from, and how will they manage to sustain themselves.
The theme of adversity in the story “No One Writes to the Colonel” is said to be inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s own experience of poverty and unemployment, when the newspaper he was working for as a correspondent, El Espectador, shut down in 1955. He spent a hard and penurious year then, not knowing where his next meal would come from, and it was during this time only that he began to write this novella.
The colonel has no source of income, and had been waiting for his pension to arrive since the last 20 years. But, this hardship does not break the colonel. He never loses hope, which was a stronger feeling inside him than those inflicted upon him during his suffering. He is ready to wait on, in hope of a better future, thinking that the pension will help him live comfortably for the rest of his life once it arrives. His...
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