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What does the story mean? 

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benchavarria | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 2, 2012 at 6:15 AM via web

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What does the story mean? 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 18, 2012 at 2:18 PM (Answer #1)

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One of the fundamental meanings of the work is the idea that individuals who find dissatisfaction in their "real" lives and tend to romanticize the love of literature are bound for even more disenchantment.  Kugelmass is dissatisfied with his present day life, which is why he is enamored with Emma in the world of literature.  His overindulgence of her is where things get even worse for him, recognizing that he has both a real world and a literary one that has appropriated all of the negative consequences of the real one.  Yet, rather than seek to understand the condition in which he has put himself, Kugelmass "doubles down" and thus winds up in a Spanish grammar text.  In the end, the meaning of Allen's work is that individuals have to be willing to stop striving for an artificially perfect life and settle in for a good one.  When individuals stop striving for that which is seen as "perfect" or "ideal," there is a greater chance for happiness that emerges.  It is here where I think that there is meaning in the workd, as it speaks to how happiness can be accomplished if the desire for perfection is put aside in favor of something workable.

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aniesa | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted May 15, 2013 at 10:29 AM (Answer #2)

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I think the story show how the characters are unable to face their problems and choose escape ...which in the end they fall in a big problem for example, when kugelmass feels that his realationship with Daphne is boring and dull he dosen't try to solve it he just think  that all what he need is love,beauty ,softness and romance which acording to him is the solution but at the he pay his consequences he projected to a spanish book with no love ,no beauty , no romance or french beaut but only with the word tener which mean "to have" chasing him all over the places and floating about aimlessly.

so the writer want us to take the lesson from the story which is never to escape from our reality we must fave our problem .

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