Escape In Alden Nowlan's Fall Of A City

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Chances are, when one is in a fight or flight situation one will usually choose flight, to escape the situation and ignore it. In Fall of a City by Alden Nowlan, the protagonist Teddy escapes his unhappy family life. His refuge takes the form of an imaginary world that he constructed as a place where he feels safe. Ultimately, this illusion is shattered when his uncle discovers his creation and ridicules him for it. Through the portrayal of setting and characters, Nowlan presents imagination as a necessary method of escape to maintain one’s mental stability.

Teddy’s refuge takes the form of Danova and Upalia, two states in his imaginative world. From Teddy’s realizations of the fictional world and also the time he spends creating it, one can understand the way it creates a diversion from the unhappy life which is his reality. Despite it being made of nothing but, “matchboxes and the covers of exercise books”(Nowlan 1), Teddy still views it as, “more real than the town, the street and the home in which he lived with his uncle and aunt”(3). Nowlan presents a contradiction where a fictional world which exists only in Teddy’s mind seems more ‘real’ than the place where he lives, sleeps and eats. This contradiction demonstrates how
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This is presented through the use of setting and of characters to demonstrate the method of escape and also the reasons behind the desire for escape, respectively. By committing such a large amount of time and by convincing himself of the authenticity of his world, Teddy demonstrates the method of escape. The power imbalance and overbearing nature of his family life contribute to his need for escape. With such factors in mind, perhaps it is time to reevaluate the societal expectations that at a certain point in time, one has to abandon their imagination and ‘mature’ and consider the possibility of imagination being a form of
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