Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Colonel

               The colonel that Forche describes in the excerpt from “The Country between Us” is like a third country despot. The colonel is an omnipotent man who enjoys his power and cruelty with relish.  The contrast between the house and the veneer of civilization is striking. “Broken bottles were embedded in the walls around the house to scoop the kneecaps from a man’s legs or cut his hands to lace.” (Forche 3725).  Further in the excerpt it describes with banality their menu of rack of lamb and a good wine with a maid to serve.  The son and daughter are depicted as bored spoiled children self-absorbed in their shallow lives. “His daughter files her nails, his son went out for the night.” (Forche 3725). After this meal  the colonel bring in a grocery sack filled with human ears.  He proudly shows this to his guests.  They are like his trophies. I think the colonel is  like a matador who keeps the ears of the bulls he has fought.   He shakes it in front of his guest for shock value.  The colonel drops the human ears in a glass of water and like a parlor trick the desiccated ears fill with water and seem to come alive. Floating in the water absorbing the water and becoming fleshy. The colonel callously tells his guest that he is tired of the rights of people and then to add to his crudity he states,”tell your people to go fuck themselves.” (Forche 3725). The last line of the excerpt, “Some of the ears on the floor were pressed to the ground.”  (Forche 3725) to me meant that the ears were deaf and the colonel could not hear the innocent people he has murdered.  

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