Unity among Disrepair

Tram 83 is the place to indulge in sin, debauchery, and, surprisingly, comradery. The setting for Tram 83, by Mujila, is a broken down City-State where the best place to be is at Tram 83 where all the food, drink, and prostitutes are. The fact that the most entertaining spot is a place where everyone gets together to do immoral things should say something about the state of this City-State. It is very easy to pick out every negative aspect of the scenario taking place in this novel but instead let’s can pick out a theme not much discussed, togetherness.

Nearing the end of the novel Lucien publishes a book that has pictures of the dissident General nude. This did not sit well with the dissident General and he tried to shut down Tram 83. Well, this did not sit well with everyone else living in the City-State. Everyone in the City-State loves Tram 83 and that is very clear. People who were once enemies switched sides and became part of the same team just to protect Tram 83.

“A hundred mercenaries broke away from their leader and switched camps with arms and ammunition. For two months, the baby-chicks, the musicians, the dandy sapeurs, the suicidals, the diggers, the tourists of all nationalities combined – in short, the whole of the City-State – ate, drank, pissed, idled, and shat in Tram 83 and its vicinity” (206).

Throughout the novel the phrase “unfinished metal structure” is used a lot. It is usually used as a descriptor for things that are sketchy. This of course is actually in reference to Tram 83 itself and yet almost every member of the City-State visits there on a regular basis, despite the sketchiness. This place is more than just an “unfinished metal structure” it is what ultimately brings everyone together. It is a place where everyone is equal. Everyone is also behaving in rather inappropriate ways but at least there is no shame amongst it because everyone around them is doing the same thing. It might be a strange way to bring people together but anything that brings unity can’t be all bad.

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