Summary Of Marcel Aymé's The Ration Ticket

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Marcel Aymé’s ‘The Ration Ticket’ (1942) sends specific political messages through Jules Flegmon’s diary account from the introduction and dissolution of the time ration ticket policy. The rations in the story shows that time is a commodity, and when this applies to the amount of time allocated to a citizen to live per month, Aymé writes of how the German soldiers measured the value of French lives. I will discuss the responses to the German policy to show how the upper classes suffered less under the imposed regime through their wealth and power over the social system. Also, I will discuss the protagonist’s reactions to the rationing once again demonstrating the value of the citizen’s lives, and through the value of the time ration tickets…show more content…
For example, when Flegmon discovers that writers and artists are only allocated 15 days of existence, he cries that whilst he understands that this may apply to other artists ‘the usefulness of writers needs no demonstration, certainly not mine’. Here, the protagonist only appears to be concerned with the time rationing policy when it affects him. This shows that he does not care for others who may have been negatively impacted by the policy and implies that the lives of writers are more significant to society than the authorities believe. When appealing to his friend for a new job, he angrily questions ‘how was I to guess that the measure would affect me?’(16th February), to which his friend replies ‘the austerity measure would affect all non-essential personnel’(16th February). Flegmon’s surprise at this outcome proves that he believes that writers are an essential part of society. The political message created here shows how we must not underestimate the importance of writers in society, and how it is unfair to measure the value of someone’s life due to their occupation. In support, Tilghman theorises that Aymé’s story is ‘making an issue, however playfully, about the importance of writing and about whether, in particular, it is worth the time that it takes’ (page
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