War By Candlelight Character Analysis

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In War By Candlelight by Daniel Alarcon creates characters that are searching for an alternative self. The author builds his engaging stories with his authorial voice and use of colors. This helps form the distinction between the characters outside and inside life. Alarcon sets the stories in New York City or in Lima, Peru to display the differences of the characters leading double lives in various settings. The characters in War By Candlelight have an internal and external conflict and lack the sense of themselves. Each of the characters struggles to find their identity and appear uncertain as they switch back and forth to find their sense of self. In Alarcon's stories, the characters in “City of Clowns” and “Third Avenue Suicide” handle their problems and difficulties by escaping their everyday life.

In the story “City of Clowns” both Oscar and his father display two sides and use them to avoid the reality of
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Reena is from a conservative Indian family that expects her to significant other to be from her culture. David is not from an Indian culture and Reena's family would not approve of her dating him. When Reena gets ill, David is asked to disappear, being forced out so Reena’s mother would not see him. This was the compromise the couple had agreed on and David did so without complaining. The colors of the apartment change as the story goes on and the relationship continues. The day the two young lovers rented the apartment was “sunny and clear, a washed-out and white afternoon [...] Outside, the quality of life the sun changed: shadows glancing at various angles, transforming the city as the day grew older. But inside their space, the walls stayed a dull white and nothing glowed and nothing shone [...] It was, they decided, the city’s darkest nonbasement apartment”
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