Who Is The Master Schedule In Harlan Ellison's Repent, Harlequin

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“Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman, by Harlan Ellison, takes place in a futuristic setting. In this time, the people are constricted by a master schedule they must conform to, and for every minute one is late, he/she loses a minute of life. The ruler of this era is known as the Ticktockman. He is the one who overlooks and governs this world with an iron fist. The protagonist, the Harlequin, is one who is very petulant. He constantly breaks the rules of the master schedule and eludes the Ticktockman. The Ticktockman attempts to make the Harlequin repent for disobeying law, trying to conform him to his commands. Harlan Ellison illustrates how conformism ultimately leads to the death of individuality through organization, characterization,…show more content…
The organization is juxtaposed with the Ticktockman. The Ticktockman is all about maintain a specific order and schedule. The Ticktockman’s own name describes the sound a clock makes. This further helps to describe how orderly he is and how he wants everyone else to be, like clockwork. The reader is also told at the beginning about the order of the story when it is stated, “Now begin in the middle, and later learn the beginning; the end will take care of itself.” This targets the desire of the Ticktockman to control a certain order. Also, by beginning in the middle, the reader is lead to question who the Harlequin really is because there is less information about him, yet he is still illustrated as an individual. By having multiple digressions, the story is organized similar to a poem. Ellison uses specific examples of imagery, diction, and characterization to illustrate the importance of reform in society. Ellison used imagery to display the Harlequins rebellion as well as the societies actions and thoughts. In illustrating the robot-like lives of his society, Ellison wrote, He could hear the metronomic, left-right-left of the 247 shift, entering the Timkin
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