The novel Pedro Paramo is about a young man who loses his mother and decides to take a journey to a ghost town called Comala to find his father, but instead dies of fear and finds out his father is dead. A central theme that runs through Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Paramo is the nature of hope and despair in a person’s life, which Rulfo demonstrates by Pedro Paramo’s love for Susana, Juan Preciado’s journey to Comala for his father, and Susana San Juan’s desire for her deceased husband.
Rulfo exhibits Pedro Paramo’s hope for a future with Susana as a sometimes- ositive nature followed by the negative nature of despair he experiences from her demise. Pedro talks about how he has hoped Susana would return to him after many years of being gone since they were children: “I waited thirty years for you to return, Susana. I wanted to have it all. Not just part of it, but everything there was to have, to the point that there would be nothing left for us to want, no desire but your wishes” (Rulfo 82).
Pedro has been persistent about Susana’s return after a long thirty years. He has loved for Susana since their childhood when they flew kites together, and thinks she will come to ove him upon her return. He went through all the trouble to gain power and land out of the hope that Susana would return and he could meet any request she wished. Pedro is talking to Don Fulgor about the plan to get rid of Susana’s father Bartolome San Juan: “We need it to be so. She must be left without family. We’re called on to look after those in need.
You agree with that, don’t you” (Rolfo 85)? Pedro still hopes that Susana will realize she needs to return to him and come to love him. He believes that it will be easier for her to realize this once Don Fulgor as an order kills her father in the mines. Once he is alone with Susana he plans to comfort her now that her father is not with her or a distraction anymore. Pedro is miserable because Susana has just died: “I will cross my arms and Comala will die of hunger. ” (Rulfo 117) Pedro is mainly portrayed as a selfish man, but not when it comes to Susana.
According to Dorotea Pedro really did love Susana and wanted the best for her. When she died he lost it, he plummeted into depression and did not speak to anyone, because Susana meant the most to him. He promised vengeance on the town of Comala for not caring enough about Susana’s death. He choose to sit down and watch Comala collapse, because no money would circulate through the town since he owned all of it. The character Juan is like Pedro because he based his choice to go on a journey on a ray of hope only to fall into the shadows of despair.
Rulfo displays Juan Preciado’s search for his father in Comala is based on hope of finding answers to his questions about his father, but is greeted with melancholy news. Juan’s mother Doloritas has just died and she had asked him to go to Comala and make Pedro pay them back for not being there to be a husband or father: “But before I knew it y head began to swim with dreams and my imagination took flight. Little by Little I began to build a world around a hope centered of the man called Pedro Paramo, the man who had been my mother’s husband.
That was why I had come to Comala” (Rulfo 3). Juan’s mother wanted him to go to Comala to get what he deserves from Pedro and receive payback, but Juan quickly changed his mind about why he was going to Comala. Juan has never seen his father so he is quite ecstatic to see who Pedro is and what he looks like. Juan hopes that he will arrive in Comala to find his father Pedro and start a ew life for himself, and that they will develop a father and son relationship. Juan has received some disappointing information about his father from Abundio: “You were mistaken about the house.
You told me the wrong place. You sent me ‘south of nowhere,’ to an abandoned village. Looking for someone who’s no longer alive” (Rulfo 8). Juan is speaking to his mother aloud out of anger about why she sent him to a ghost town to look for someone who is not alive anymore. Abundio had told Juan that Pedro was dead and that he represented ‘living bile’ to him. Juan has been stripped of any hope he had about is plans to find his father Pedro and answer any questions. Juan is dead and is in a coffin talking with Dorotea: “You’d have done better to stay home.
Why did you come here? I told you that at the very beginning. I came her to find Pedro Paramo, who they say was my father. Hope brought me here” (Rulfo 60). Juan reminds Dorotea that he came to Comala to find his father mainly because he had hope. It is tragic how Juan dies out of fear and without any hope but sorrow. Juan died with despair knowing that his father Pedro was a horrible man and a dead man. Juan has lost his own life and everyone close o him, just like Susana who has lost her lover and father only to loose her own life shortly after.
Rulfo demonstrates that Susana San Juan hopes to reunite with her deceased husband due to her craziness, and that once she figures out he is dead she does not know how to live without him. Susana is in her home dreaming about her deceased husband Florencio: “And what I want is his body. Naked and hot with love; boiling with desire; stroking my trembling breast and arms. My transparent body suspended from his. My lustful body held and released by his strength” (Rulfo 100-101). Upon her return to Pedro Susana persistently hopes that her dead husband will return to her.
She believes this because she was driven crazy by a series of grave robbing’s with her father at a young age. She hopes for his return so much that she often has intense dreams with detailed memories of her lover. Susana is in her bed thinking about her dream she just had: “What shall I do now with my lips without his lips to cover them? What shall become of my poor lips” (Rulfo 101)? Susana has now realized that her deceased husband Florencio will never come back to life. She has suddenly lost all of her hope and is now filled with espair and fear of what will come.
She never plans on being with Pedro and worries about what will happen to her lips since her deceased husband is the only one she wanted kissing her lips. Pedro is thinking about Susana in his thoughts while she is sleeping: “But what world was Susana San Juan living in? That was one of the things Pedro Paramo would never know” (Rulfo 95). Susana might live in the normal world but does not act like it, because she has crazy thoughts and dreams. Pedro will never know what is going on with Susana. She is always thinking about her dead husband because she lives in denial and is on Fantasy Island.
The novel Pedro Paramo was about a young man who lost his mother and decided to take a journey to a ghost town called Comala to find his father, but instead died of fear and found out his father was dead. Juan Rulfo used the concept of the nature of hope and despair in a person’s life as a central theme for Pedro Paramo, and demonstrated it by using Pedro Paramo’s love for Susana, Juan Preciado’s journey to Comala for his father, and Susana San Juan’s desire for her past husband. Rulfo’s novel Pedro Paramo is an insightful source of how quickly a person’s hope can be taken and turned into despair.
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