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THE RETURN by FERNANDO SORRENTINO SUMMARY

This short story talks about some complicated events that happen in 1965 to a man that is studying to become a high school and literature teacher. First off all, the main character witness that his neighbor, Don Cesareo, who is an old man that has bad temper and cares a lot about his garden, accidentally murders a beggar, who insists a lot on the begging and Don Cesareo accidentally killed him because of losing his patience, the main character decide not to tell anyone about the murder. In 1969, while giving a private grammar lessons as a Spanish teacher, one day he sees the same beggar and wearing the same clothes and carrying the filthy sack, who was killed at the beginning, enter in Adriana Bernasconis home, who is the woman that the teacher has fall in love, but she gets married with other man and becomes a mother. They lives in the house which is in the opposite side of the street. When the teacher run at Adriana Bernasconis house to warn that a beggar was entering her home and probably he could steal something, Adriana and her husband dont see anyone enter their home. Then the teacher decides to return to his home and think that he was sure that the dead beggar comes to be reincarnated in Adrianas baby. Years go by, Adrianas son Gustavo grows up. One day, the main character sees Adrianas son playing on the roof terrace with an empty cans. At the same time, Don Cesareo who is very old, comes out of his home. But suddenly Gustavo finally hit one of the cans which fall with a big noise into Don Cesareos garden. Don Cesareo who starts at hearing the noise, terribly falls down and shattered his skull against a step and died immediately. The only witness of the situation was the teacher again. The next day, The teacher again sees the beggar walking out Adrianas home and leaves mysteriously, after that day, Adrianas son disappeared.

PLOT INTRODUCTION :The story starts when the narrator is 23 years old. It takes place in September of 1965 on a very early morning where the beggar is bothering Don Cesareo which is the narrators neighbour.

RISING ACTION :The storys intensity starts to raise when the beggar keeps bothering Don Cesareo and goes up to his front gate past 3 slippery steps. Don Cesareo gets frustrated and pushes the beggar, making him slip on a wet stone and fall violently to the ground where he cracked his skull on the first step.

CLIMAX :The climax of the story occurs when the narrator looks out the window in 1969 and sees the beggar walking passed Dons house. Making it seem as if he had resurrected.

FALLING ACTION :The storys action starts to decrease in 1979 when Adrianas son hits a can off his terrace and into Dons garden. The noise startled Don as he was walking down on his front steps. He makes a thrust movement which made him slip wildly out of control and shattered his skull on the first step.

RESOLUTION :The story concludes when the narrator sees the beggar creep out of Adrianas house and disappear off into the distance. Later that evening, Gustavo was reported missing. Supposedly, to this day the search continued and the narrator never told the parents the truth.

CHARACTER AND CHARACTERISTICS The Narrator


The protagonist is the narrator of the story. A Spanish language and literature teacher who is very secretive because he hides the fact the he witnessed several deaths. He is also curious because he glance on Adriana, the girl he loves, through the window so often. The antagonist is also the narrator himself because he watched numerous deaths and kept it a secret. An example to show the human vs self relationship is, I was the only person in the world aware of this terrible secret.

The Beggar
The minor character of the story. He is an innocence man who kindly asking for help from Don Cesareo. He was told in the story as bearded and skinny, his head was covered by yellowish, misshapen straw hat, wearing grayish overcoat and carrying a huge and dirty sack. He was also stubborn as he even tried to get closer to Don Cesareo after being shouted by him as if to send the beggar away. The beggar seems revengeful as he reincarnated in Adrianas child to pay back what Don Cesareo had done to him.

Don Cesareo
The dynamic character in the story. He was a neighbour of the main character as he lived in the opposite side of the street. He was very mean and such a bad tempered person as he shouted the beggar to go away while simply made a gesture with his hand. Don Cesareo was also a rude when he pushed the beggar away with a fierce shove until he fell violently to the ground. He died at the end of the story exactly the same as how he killed the beggar.

THEMES :Unreachable Love


The story of The Return tells the reader about how much the main character loves a woman named Adriana Bernasconi. Despite the beginning of the story tells that he always glance Adriana from the window, he had to accept the fact that Adriana had married with other man and become a mother after several years. Next to Don Cesareos stood the beautiful home of the Bernasconi family, lovely people who used to do nice, kind things. They had three daughters, and i was in love with the eldest, Adriana. So, every once in a while I cast a glance toward the sidewalk across the way, more out of a habit of the heart than because I expected to see her at such an early hour Adriana Bernasconi hadnt married me but some other fellow, and who knows whether he loved or deserved her as much as i did

The Untold Secret


The main character watched several deaths from the whole story, but he never dare to speak and reveal the deaths he witnessed to anyone. He keep remains silence until the end of the story. For my part, I was very careful not to open my mouth. I probably behaved badly, but what was I gain from accusing that old man who had never done me any harm ? On the other hand, it hadnt been his intention to kill the panhandler, and it didnt seem right to me that a legal proceeding should embitter the final years of his life for him. I thought the best thing would be to leave him alone with his conscience

Karma
Based on the story The Return, one of the main theme shows by the narrator is Karma. Karma can be define as the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that persons deeds in the previous incarnation. What ever you do, comes back to you. From the story, Don Cesareo had accidently killed the beggar by pushing him fiercely to the ground. But at the end of the story, the situation seems to be repeated but at this time, Don Cesareo is the one who was killed. Gustavo had accidently hit one of the cans which made a loud noise and shocked Don Cesareo. He then slipped out of control, shattered his skull on the first step and died.

Revenge
The Return shows how the beggar comes back to life to avenge his death to Don Cesareo by reincarnated in Adrianas child. He didnt return to take revenge, though, but rather to be reincarnated in Adrianas child

MORAL VALUES :Self-acceptance We must sincerly accept the thing that is not actually made for us even we insist to have it. We deserved something much better, but if not by this time, it could be sometimes. The narrator loves Adriana Bernasconi very much, but he did not had the chances to marry her but some other man. He sincerly accept the fact and keep living his life. Patience We must be patience in all things we do and how people treated us. From the story, we can concluded that Don Cesareo was not a very much patience person. He was more likely bad tempered person as he directly shouted at the beggar and told him to go away when he came and asked for some help. Responsible We must be responsible for our actions and we cannot hide it purposefully, we hide the problems, more will come. Don Cesareo had accidently killed the beggar but instead of admit his crime, he then went into his house and shut the door as there had been no witnesses to his crime.

Polite We must be polite and sincere when we talk to the others because the good expectation makes the good relationship. Based on the story, The Return, Don Cesareo was pretty much a rude person as he did not talked to the beggar in such a polite way, he even made a gesture with his hand to send the beggar away and pushed him violently to the ground until the beggar died. Caring Neighbour While living in a neighbourhood life, we must be a good neighbour and take a good care to each other. The narrator himself feel very suspicious as he saw the beggar suddenly entered Adrianas house as he could steal something, he then leave his students and rushed down to Adrianas house to tell her about the suspicious beggar who entered her house. Determination We must be stronger and diligent in order to achieve the successful dream of our life. The narrator of the story having the intention of becoming a high school Spanish language and literature teacher. In order to achieve his goal, he determine to study well until he got the degree of his dream courses the next three years which was in 1969.

PERSONAL RESPONSE :I did enjoy the story, but I would not consider this is to be a horror story. It had some elements that are found in a horror story, but i thought of it more as a mystery. There were a few questions that never ended up being answered in the story. Why was Fernando always drawn to the window whenever bad was going to happen ? Did something supernatural want him to witness all these events ? And also, after the beggar got his revenge on Don Cesareo by using Gustavo, why did the boy mysteriously disappeared ? These are two things I continued to wonder while reading. Nevertheless, it was a very nice story. It started off slow, but the flow was good. It was fairly simplistic and give the supernatural feeling to the reader, but that allows me to simply enjoy the story and not have to work too hard to get the meaning. The story teased my curiosity and pushed me to excitment at some points. I can conclude that it was more mystery than scary, but I applaud the effort. It was worth the read.

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