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Machado de Assis and the unconditional approval of life: the tragic in "Father versus mother"


This paper is based on the interpretation developed by Rogério de Almeida, who defines Machado de Assis as an author aligned with tragic philosophy. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the short story "Father Versus Mother" to show what appears to be the most important lesson to be learned, namely, the unconditional approval of life. We believe that the reading of this short story exemplifies the following distinction: on the one hand, we have all the non-tragic conceptions, which are based on an intention that establishes an ordering and meaning to life; on the other hand, we have the tragic intention that is opposed to the others and establishes nothing about the meaning of being, because there is nothing other than chance determining the events.

Machado de Assis; tragic philosophy; unconditional approval of life

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