The Night Face Up By Julio Cortazer

1498 words - 6 pages

Lucid dreams, or out of body experiences, are claimed to be real by some, even though scientists and doctors say that they are not real. Susan Blackmore explains in “Lucid Dreaming: Awake in Your Sleep?” that lucid dreams are considered different than normal dreams. Blackmore also goes on to say that a lucid dream requires concentration when someone falls asleep. In some cases people claim that they are able to control their dreams, or leave their body whole they dream. In Julio Cortazer’s story, “The Night Face Up,” the main character can arguably be said to have an out of body experience starting after he is involved in a horrible motorcycle accident. He dreams of traveling back into the past to a time where the Aztecs are attacking the Moteca tribe. There are two different scenarios when it comes to deciding what real life is for the man. Scenario one can be argued that the main character is living in present day, and dreaming of the past. Scenario two involves the main character is living in the past, and dreaming of modern day life. In using Blackmore’s article to explain the story, it makes the most sense when the main character is living in modern day, and dreaming of the past.
An out of body experience is the most viable explanation to why the main character had a random dream about being chased by the Aztecs. An out of body experience, or a lucid dream, is where someone ‘leaves’ their body during the dream and is able to control what they do in the dream. In this day and age, there are instructions everywhere for someone to have an out of body experience. Blackmore talks about the top few steps that claim to help someone achieve an out of body experience. Steps that are claimed to work the most are, “[being involved in] some sort kind of activity before falling asleep again can also encourage a lucid dream….” (Blackmore). While it was obviously not on purpose, the main character did follow these directions towards an out of body experience. The main character decides to go for his motorcycle ride early in the morning. Next thing he knows, he is in an accident and falls immediately into sleep with the help of painkillers. Blackmore also worked with scientist, or reviewed other scientist’s work, who recorded the brain waves of those who claim they could have lucid dreams. Blackmore says with her research that, “Further experiments, with [the scientist in charge of the experiments] dreaming of kicking objects, writing, and snapping his fingers, all confirmed that the muscles of the body show small movements corresponding to the body’s actions to the dream” (Blackmore). In simpler terms, Blackmore’s colleague is saying that in a lucid dream, your muscles mirror the dream actions on a smaller scale. In “The Night Face up", the main character was nearing towards the end of the first out of body experience of the story. He was running on the trail and instinctly takes a lunge forward and wakes up at the same time. His hospital roommate tells...

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