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Analysis of "Pedro Paramo"

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Hope is a mad person's fantasy; reality is an inevitable cycle of disturbance and disappointment. Without salvation, love, and even hope, past and present lose their greater meaning. Reality exists only in the absolute power of the local boss and the Church. It is these realities which send the inhabitants of Comala into a never-ending spiral of pitiful restlessness. Pedro Páramo is about the inescapable flaws of religious devotion combined with this tyrannical local political system, seen by Juan Rulfo, in rural Mexico.

The Church's true role in Pedro Páramo is to confirm the suffering of the people of Comala by giving the false impression that salvation through the Church was possible. This illusion of salvation is represented by the tainted Father Rentería, who falls to the will of Páramo. The Father absolves the soul of Miguel for Páramo's money, but later refuses absolution to the spirit of Eduviges Dyada because her sister does not have any money to pay him. Tradition tells the residents that they should seek their salvation through the Father, but the hidden corruption of Father Rentería forces the inhabitants of Comala to cling to the fragile fantasy of salvation through faith. They do so without knowing whether or not there salvation will ever come.

The only resident that does not cling to the illusion of salvation is Susana San Juan, "Then he [Father Rentería] tried once more to speak into her ear, but she shook her head: `Go away Father. Don't bother yourself over me. I am at peace, and very sleepy." Susana San Juan refused to repent for her sins as if her lunacy had given her some sort of clarity into the truth of the corruption represented by Father Rentería. She seemed ...

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...e Church. It is about the disturbance and disappointment that is reality. This reality, for the residents of Comala, and by extension, the residents of Rulfo's rural Mexico, exists only in the absolute power of the local boss and his corruption of the Church. This corrupt reality combined with a submissive population, Rulfo argues, will inevitably dissolve society to a point from which there is no salvation. This complete lack of hope for salvation is represented by the tortured souls of Comala. For these pour souls, joy and hope are elusive but misery and anguish are eternal.

Works Cited

Rulfo, Juan. Pedro Páramo. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Ed. Sarah Lawall and Maynard Mack. 2nd Edition. Volume F New York: Norton, 2002. p. 2687.

Roffé, Reina, ed. Autobiografía Armada. "Literature Resource Center, Juan Rulfo." 22 April 2003.

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