Repent Harlequin Said The Ticktockman Summary

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How could one possibly overcome temptations of fitting in with society or following the crowd? Some people have little willpower and will conform to whatever everyone else around them is doing, even if the crowd contradicts a basis for right and wrong. However, the Harlequin is able to resist and act upon his beliefs and values in a positive way. In “Repent Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman” by Harlan Ellison, some of the elements of fiction contribute to the achievement of theme. In this short story, the elements of fiction that are demonstrated are character, plot, and symbolism and tie together to form one central theme. One aspect of fiction that is relied upon to achieve theme is character. In this story, the protagonist is Everett C. …show more content…

The plot is based on the man against man conflict between the Ticktockman and the Harlequin and their battles against each other. The rising action shows a progression of the hatred between the protagonist and antagonist, as in the beginning of the Harlequin’s mischief. He starts by trapping the authorities “who had been sent out by the office of the Ticktockman” in the webs which were supposed to trap the Harlequin; the authorities “hung there like so much dockside cargo, hauled up above the floor of the amphitheater in a most unseemly fashion.” This starts a chain reaction where he disrupts the schedule of a few people to disrupting the schedule of many people. Another example of the Harlequin’s mischief: “Jelly beans… fell on the heads and shoulders and hardhats and carapaces of the Timkin workers…The shift workers howled and laughed and were pelted…The shift was delayed for seven minutes. They did not get home for seven minutes. The master schedule was thrown off by seven minutes.” The war between the Harlequin and Ticktockman reveals another important theme: that people occasionally need to have fun instead of being consumed by the punctuality of people’s extremely busy …show more content…

In the story, the Harlequin is seen as “a hero for an emotionally disturbed segment of the populace.” This is interpreted to mean that the Harlequin was a hero for people who were not fond of the prompt master schedule. The Harlequin is a hero of sorts, just as Robin Hood was a hero for poor English in medieval times or of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. In those stories and folklore, Robin Hood and Katniss were beacons of hope to people in a time where evil seemed to prevail and would continue to rule. The Harlequin can be considered as one of these heroes, and even sacrifices himself for the benefit of the population, when he is captured by the Ticktockman. The Harlequin sacrifices himself and is brainwashed; however, the Ticktockman throws off the master schedule himself and kills himself in a sense, as he throws off his own master schedule for the fun of it. This show of bravery represents a significant theme that those who put others before themselves can be rewarding and should be looked upon as true

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