The Centaur Essay

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Anna Maria Hong is a published poet and an editor of the fiction and memoir anthology Growing Up Asian American. In the following essay, Hong discusses how Saramago uses the mythical figure of the centaur to explore the themes of isolation and the tension between the physical and spiritual sides of humanity.

Like much of Saramago's fiction, “The Centaur” blends the fantastical with the actual to explore themes common to all humanity. One of the central themes of the story concerns how people struggle to reconcile their physical and spiritual needs, even as they grapple with external forces that threaten their survival. Saramago illustrates the internal conflict between parts of the self through the story's protagonist, an unnamed centaur, who literally embodies the split, as he possesses the mind and upper body of a man and the lower body of a horse.

Throughout the story, the two...

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This section contains 1,409 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Centaur Study Guide
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