The Telephone By Anwar Accawi Essay, Research Paper
In Anwar F. Accawi s short story, The Telephone, The village of Magdaluna was overcome by the telephone. Magdaluna was a simple town. The villagers did not have much, and technology was very new to them. They judged time by certain events that happened. For example, an earthquake, or the birth of an important person would be sufficient to get a feel time concepts. The children would play in the streets and run errands for the grown-ups for small sums of money. Accawi grew up in this town and he was content with his life. Change would surely be a bad thing to him because he had fun without all the advantages of technology. He assumed everyone else was happy as well. However, when the telephone came, it changed their lives forever. The telephone brought so many opportunities for the villagers. The whole village would sit by the phone and wait for it to ring and bring them news, and opportunities to make money. The people of Magdaluna almost started worshiping the phone. The congregations around the phone grew larger and larger. People would receive job opportunities and leave the village. This was upsetting to many people of Magdaluna, especially Accawi. It was disturbing their way of living, and taking them away from a life that they enjoyed.
Accawi states in his short story that the telephone was bad. I agree with this statement to an extent. The telephone had a bad impact on the village, in that they were torn apart from each other, and changed a way of living that was truly unique. A way of living in which time did not matter and where there were hardly any worries. Before the telephone the places where everyone socialized and relaxed were always bustling with people. Now that there was a telephone, everyone huddled around it, waiting for his or her opportunity of a lifetime. Im Kaleem, for example, was a woman who pleased the men of the town. She was the town whore, if you will. Her house was somewhere that all the men could go and just play cards, drink, have a good time and be relieved of all the stress from the day. Her house was always full of men just having a good time and fulfilling their sexual desires with Im. Now that the telephone was around, people stopped going to Im Kaleem s house. They spent all their time sitting by the phone. This was harmful for the town and its community. It tore people away from each other. Also, for Accawi, the telephone was bad news. He had a little business of running errands for the older men. He would sit outside of Im Kaleem s house and wait for a man to call to him so he could run errands for him. The men would pay him a small amount of money each time. In this sense, the telephone was bad news.
The telephone also brought many opportunities to the town of Magdaluna. People would receive phone calls from people with job openings. As time went by, more and more villagers left the village in pursuit of a more sophisticated and technological way of living. The army took them. Jobs and cities lured them. And ships and airplanes carried them to such far away places as Australia and Brazil and New Zealand (37). The people left in large swarms and for Accawi, this was devastating. However, the telephone gave many people opportunities to advance their lives. Accawi can complain about not being able to live the life that he had once known and loved; however, he moved away himself. His father got a good job with an oil company. Accawi graduated from a school in Sedan on a scholarship and is now living in the United States. Accawi was given a very good opportunity to advance his life.
Although Accawi may have enjoyed living the simple life, he was brought an opportunity of a lifetime because of the telephone. While the telephone brought much grief to the town, it also provided a sense of technology and advancement. For the town of Magdaluna, the phone may have been a big change. Nevertheless, with the advancement of technology, and constant change in this world, I believe that this change was definitely for the good of the village. It is difficult to pass up such opportunities. Accawi was very young, did not like change, and was content with such a simple life. However, as he would become older, and more mature, that way of living would be insufficient to ever advance. The telephone brought on many changes to Magdaluna. For some the change was devastating; but for others it gave them a sense of hope in their poor town.
Towards the end of the short story, Accawi states, Like others who left Magdaluna before me, I am still looking for that better life (37). Everyone who left Magdaluna was in search of a better way of living. For Accawi, the best time of his life was when he lived there. He and his family left the village in search of this better life, and he is yet to find it. For some, a more technological life is the better life, while others enjoy a simple, laid back life and do not need a lot of technology in their lives. Depending on who one is, where he or she is from, and the way he or she thinks, the telephone could be bad or good. For Accawi, the telephone was in fact, bad news. However, for the world as a whole, technology moves so fast, and the telephone was just another major advancement in technology. I can relate the telephone coming to Magdaluna to the Internet taking over the world. For the people of Magdaluna, speaking to someone not from their town was never heard of. The phone gave them many opportunities. The Internet compares with the telephone because everything is done on-line. We can get our mail, buy groceries, do research, create websites, and get the latest news. On the Internet, you can learn everything from how to cook, to how to make a bomb. The telephone, for Accawi, was, in fact, bad news. As for the world as a whole, the telephone brought on great technological advances and the world would be a totally different place without it.