Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo Essay

Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo Essay

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There exists a prevalent notion that life and death are opposing concepts, with the latter prevalently feared. A common reason to fear death, many find, is the element of the unknown (Bauman 66); most do not know how, when, or why they will die or what will become of their memory to those they care about. The unfamiliar, foreign nature of death thus becomes a driving force behind justifying its prevention. But what if one were able to interrogate the experience of dying? A vested thought experiment which enables one to interrogate the experience of dying opens the possibility to remove some degree of death’s foreign nature and its terrifying void of the unknown. The IB prescribed literature provides such an opportunity as Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo offers an alternative to the typical, fear-plagued orientation to death by removing the importance of the bifurcating barrier between biological life and its termination and exploring death’s possibilities.
Normalization of the relationship between life and death requires some degree of conscience oscillation between accepting and negating the inevitability of death. The narrative allows the reader to explore such oscillation and be introduced to death by blurring the line between life and death by refusing to identify characters as biologically alive or dead in the first place. Such an erroneous method of identification augments the oscillation process all together and constructs a story in which the ability to shift between recognizing the inevitability of death and not doing so is replaced by engagement with characters who have already passed and have yet to pass, as well as brings into question the way the reader orients him/herself to death as the narrative introduces character af...


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...s/her past. It is within this evaluation that one finds that moving from life to death is a common experience to be taken by all. The constant exposure to death and the desensitizing effects of said exposure make the bifurcating barrier between life and its termination a construct of our xenophobic orientation to death. If death is embraced and experienced, at least to the extent Pedro Paramo allows, the foreign nature of death becomes less foreign and easier to recognize.



Works Cited

Bauman, Zygmunt. "Life in Fragments: Essays in Postmodern Morality." Essay. Universtiy of Leeds, 1995.
Johnson, Leigh. "HAUNTED DEMOCRACIES AND THE POLITICS OF POSSIBILITY: A DECONSTRUCTIVE ANALYSIS OF TRUTH COMMISSIONS ." Philosophy Thesis. 2007.
Rulfo, Juan. "Pedro Paramo." 1955. California Lutheran University. 12 Decemeber 2013 .

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