The Question of Reincarnation and “A Yellow Flower”.
There are always going to be people who question what happens to a person upon their death. In his story “A Yellow Flower” Julio Cortazar approaches this subject from a unique point of view. In this story, a man finds himself reincarnated during his own life in what he calls “Some slight imperfection in the mechanism , a re-embodiment incarnate, simultaneously instead of consecutively”(53). In this story a retired city worker, though some twist of fate, discovers himself as a boy on the number 95 bus in Paris. This discovery leads to obsession with the boy named Luc and becomes involved in his life and with his family. This intimate relationship with Luc’s family lasts until his death, which a suspicious mind could blame on the retired city workers desire to end the cycle of his life. .
The question of reincarnation is not a new one but there will always be discourse on this topic as no one can definitively prove or disprove it. The idea that ones soul lives on and on in different bodies experiencing new lives seems romantic, but the way it is present in this story seems to be quite depressing. When the parents wanted to improve Luc’s life in different means the man wanted to say.
“that whatever they might do the result would be the same, humiliation, a deadly routine, the monotonous years the worst was that Luc would die in his turn, and another man would relive Luc’s pattern and his own and another man in his turn enter the wheel”(57).
This idea that his intolerable existence was bound to be repeated forever depressed the man. He worried about Luc’s fate and this led to what seems to be his involvement in Luc’s death. The man seems to admit being involved in Luc’s death when he says “They laugh at me now they”re too stupid to realize Yeah, now don’t you start looking at me like that”(57). This conspiratorial comment seems to indicate that he was in fact involved in ending Luc’s life to end the cycle.