Thursday, May 21, 2015

The False Image of the "Axolotl"

The narration within the story appeared as if the young man was experiencing an existential crisis which he had been projecting onto the axolotl. While the narrator claimed to be experiencing a switching of consciousness between himself and the axolotl, there was a similar panicked state when he was in both bodies. This panicking appeared to be operating from the same consciousness, only in different bodies. The narrator repeatedly speaks of the immobility present within the axolotl; not only in the environment of the axolotl but an internal immobility: the inability of the axolotl to express itself, and allow its cognitive thoughts to be translated outwards. The narrator attributed the axolotl’s immobile facial expression with perpetual dread. This is how the narrator anthropomorphized the axolotl: humans generally associate stoicism with enduring pain, externally appearing to be void of emotion. The narrator believed the axolotl’s fixed face stemmed from a pain which the animal had been repressing. There is nothing suggesting what the axolotl was repressing, or if there were emotions (which could be understood on a humanistic scale) to be repressed.

It appeared that he was projecting a lot of his worry and dread (from sources unbeknownst to the reader) onto the creatures. One of my theories is that his anxieties could stem from his work: when the protagonist was in the body of the axolotl, he reassured himself that the man would “write a story about us.” The consciousness of the axolotl/man was continuously looking for an escape. Perhaps a story about the axolotl from the man would be the man's own story being told, a way to escape from his own mental chasm through written form.

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