Conflict Between A Priest And A Literary Critic Essay

Conflict Between A Priest And A Literary Critic Essay

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Often individuals have conflict between their conscious political or social behaviors and actions verses their underlying ‘political unconscious’. One’s political unconscious often supports an individual’s true beliefs on political or social matters, but are overtly suppressed to acquire wealth, social status, or power. This conflict for Father Urrutia in Bolaño’s By Night in Chile is seen in his deathbed confessional where he shares the stories of his past actions or behaviors versus the voice of his political unconscious. Father Urrutia confesses to the reader his conflict as a possible atonement for his failure to uphold to his socialist beliefs while outwardly yielding to the desires of elite class status and power.
Bolaño establishes the opposing political ideologies in By Night in Chile as the contradictory careers of a priest and a literary critic. In the beginning of the story we learn that Father Urrutia from the two careers he pursues became a priest first. This is significant as this establishes that being a priest was in accordance to Urrutia’s original socialistic ideals. Being a Catholic priest, many of Father Urrutia’s duties involve helping the poor and the sick. These priestly duties signify a fundamental socialist ideology for Father Urrutia andRe it represents a selfless servant to poor, sick and the community. In addition, aside from being a priest, Father Urrutia is also a literary critic. This profession for Father Urrutia’s is quite contrasting to his original career choice as a priest. A literary critic usually works for him or her self and holds a higher social status than the public servant of a priest. In Night By Chile, being a literary critic represents an opposing political ideology for Urrutia that...


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...t as a possible gain in social and political status within the new political structure while conflicting with his fundamental political briefs.
Overall, Bolaño in By Night in Chile captures the struggle an individual will face in acting toward his or her political conscious or unconscious beliefs. Father Urrutia’s political unconscious is often what creates conflicts for himself, producing an honest guilt that leads to the retelling of his deathbed confessional. Fighting his two political beliefs at the end of By Night in Chile Father Urrutia is left with no resolution to his guilt for his behaviors or inactions. To gain social status or power, Father Urrutia acted against his political unconscious. His political unconscious rouses his fundamental or heart felt socialist core values in the wizened kid to challenge his yielding to these capitalistic and elitist views.

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