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Written by Dio Sm
Positive raffish look
The narrator says that “everything is always normal in cafes and especially the Cafe Mably, because of the manager, M. Fasquelle, who has a raffish look which is positively reassuring.” Here Antoine shows how “normal” are actually these cafes, and this “ordinariness” he strengthens with the help of oxymoron in M. Fasquelle’s look: reassuring but raffish.
Objects touch though they should not
The narrator says that “objects should not touch because they are not alive.” But actually he is always worried about these “not alive” things: a glass of beer, a sheet of paper etc. Thus the author shows that Antoine can’t “manage” himself: he makes the rules to keep himself in control, but he can’t follow them.
Dirty shop in front of an expensive church
The narrator says about a shop which was in his town in the past, that he liked it very much: “it had a cynical and obstinate look, it insolently recalled the rights of dirt and vermin, only two paces from the most costly church in France.” Here he doesn’t show his personal attitude to the church and religion in general, he just shows how ironical may be the fate: it “puts” two polar sides – dirt and holiness – together. And he likes this oxymoron.
When crossing the salon Bordurin-Renaudas Antoine is looking at many famous, elite people, he says: “Farewell, beautiful lilies, elegant in your painted little sanctuaries, good-bye, lovely lilies, our pride and reason for existing, good-bye you bastards!” Thus he shows that though he, and everybody else, ought to be courteous, polite to these people, he doesn’t want to be adulatory.
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