Appointment In Samarra Analysis

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A person with free will has complete control over its destiny. If one denies wrongdoing and flees from moral responsibility, that person will just be building all of the different consequences up until they are no longer manageable. However, if one faces the mistakes made, they can overcome their past and shape their future. The fatalistic novel by John O'Hara, ''Appointment in Samarra,'' illustrates the downward spiral of a promising young man. The drunk, self-loathing Julian English alienates and angers everyone close to him. Through the character of Julian English, O'Hara examines the consequences of ignoring the responsibility to own up to one’s mistakes, due in large part to the complicated social order and manners, poses the necessity…show more content…
Within the time span of three days, Julian gets drunk several times. One lyrical long paragraph describes one of his hangovers in detail. O’Hara describes Julian English by, “the smell of clean white shirts and cigarettes and sometimes whiskey. They would say he was drunk, but he wasn’t drunk. Yes, he was. He was drunk, but he was Julian, drunk or not, and that was more than anyone else was. That was what everyone else was not.” (O’Hara) Throughout the novel, English appears to always have problems with alcohol, however, they start to get out of control. He starts drinking and drinking and drinking, hurting people’s feelings and still not caring until too much damage is done. O’Hara illustrates this in the first chapter, when Julian’s swift decline begins. Irritated by the abrasive jokes of the local big shot, English throws a glass of liquor into a much despised but universally feared man. Unfortunately, Harry Reilly, the recipient to the highball in the face, is the biggest investor in Julian’s car dealership. Of course, this is not the real reason for English’s fall into the social and psychological abyss, however it is just the tipping point. O’Hara states, “He remembered throwing a drink at Harry Reilly, throwing it in his fat, cheap, gross Irish face.” (O’Hara) This is important because it…show more content…
This novel offers a compelling glimpse into personal decisions about forgiveness, acceptance, and tolerance. It also illustrates how those decisions impact various lives. Julian English was not necessarily a ‘bad guy’, by the period standards or modern standards for that matter. English made bad choices and acted on impulse which ultimately contributed to his downfall and suicide. O’Hara implies a strong life lesson throughout the novel, which is to face the consequences of one’s actions, rather than pushing them onto the back burner, before it is too
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