The Man Who Was Thursday Literary Analysis

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Terror(ism) in Literature: ‘The Man Who Was Thursday’: A Review Authors either use terror as a topic or theme in order to justify the acts of the artist as revolutionist or as “terror-ist.” This paper aims to indicate the relation between terror as an essential mode in art and literature in the form of textuality with reference to The Man Who Was Thursday. Gilbert Keith Chesterton’s enigmatic novel, with its humorous tone and fantastic elements contending crucial arguments, stresses its paradoxical situation regarding terror(ism) in the subtitle: A Nightmare. Yet, the optimistic end and the function of dream to reveal the mythical essence of terror(ism) ironizes the ‘nightmare.’ Keywords: Artist as terror-ist, terror(ism), Gilbert Keith…show more content…
The novel philosophizes matters such as the nature of the poet as anarchist, the mythical aspect of anarchy and terror(ism), and violation of social peace from the eyes of poets, anarchists, and policemen. Chesterton brings two poets together, one is a police detective Gabriel Syme and the other is Lucien Gregory who is an anarchist poet. The loaded symbolism and satire addresses both art and politics de-sensitising both the characters and readers. Terror(ism) in this short novel is issued as an elusive and misleading concept. Chesterton’s view of anarchist degrades the conventional and official approaches to the anarchy and terror(ism); the narration rectifies terror(ism) from the earnestness ascribed to it. Chesterton questions inculcation of the idea of terror-ists’ dangerousness’; the embedded disguises, symbols, and illusions in The Man Who Was Thursday blur the divisions between socially and officially denominated anarchist and the real pursuers of chaos. Chesterton does not see the destruction of the society in the terror-ist acts of discontented communities as it sees it in the governing body as well as the rich, untouchable society. He makes one of his characters declares this conviction: “Aristocrats were always…show more content…
It is a detective story, a fantastic tale, a political treatise, and a thriller narrated in poetic prose, and deals with terror(ism) in relation to both art and theological doctrines. The Biblical allusions and analogies are interspersed among the existential, profane, and anarchical contentions. Chesterton’s artifice lies in creating mysterious plot with a remarkably poetic language, yet his skill to make conventionally significant things look ridicule should not be overlooked. In this novel, he plays with the notions and norms welcomed by mobs, secured by governments, and consecrated by religious tenets. Through disguises, Chesterton questions our perception of reality, politically convinced plight, and orthodox either-or logic. Terror(ism) which is obscured by the enigmatic characters and farcical style of narration is the pivotal topic that is questioned and whereby broader issues are inquired into. The two characters who are both poets with opposite world views, political ideologies, and social status deliberate on and dispute about the nature of terror(ism) and literature. As the story progresses, the reader is entangled in a rather sophisticated, mysterious, and multivocal plot and philosophical contemplation Syme is haunted by the esoteric persona of Sunday. The contrast between his face and his back unravels both the deceptiveness of good

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