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3/26/14 Bellwork: Answer the following question in at least 3-5 sentences on left side page 80 of your INB – What is the relationship of the past to the.

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Presentation on theme: "3/26/14 Bellwork: Answer the following question in at least 3-5 sentences on left side page 80 of your INB – What is the relationship of the past to the."— Presentation transcript:

1 3/26/14 Bellwork: Answer the following question in at least 3-5 sentences on left side page 80 of your INB – What is the relationship of the past to the present? How do historical events inform us now? Can past events “haunt” us? Give an example. Agenda: – Bellwork – Notes Pedro Paramo (right side page 81) – Discussion of text/Let’s talk/This book is confusing – Character chart (page83)

2 The Ghosts of Comala: Threads of History in Pedro Paramo Socio-cultural, socio-political, socio- historical contextual background

3 Background – Pedro Paramo Published in 1955 – One of the most analyzed and commented works in Mexican literature. The novel is often seen as representative of Mexican modernity – While traditional Mexico fades, its presence still lingers, like the ghosts in the novel Takes place in Comala, a ghost town created from the effects of events in 19 th and 20 th century Mexican social history – revolutions, feudal systems, deruralization) Rulfo was inspired by his own town, which had become uninhabited, when he visited it 30 years later

4 Narrative voices The novel weaves the stories of three principal characters together: Juan Preciado, Susana San Juan and Pedro Paramo – The novel begins from Juan’s point of view Juan is Pedro’s only legitimate son who searches for identity and revenge. – Woven into Juan’s narrative are flashbacks of Pedro’s biography Pedro is the son of landowners who had been falling into debt He marries Delores Preciado for her money, although he loves Susana San Juan, who had moved away. Pedro is able to build up his ranch and expand, despite the events of the Mexican Revolution ( )

5 Fragmented voices The textual structure weaves the story lines through a series of fragments – In some parts, Juan narrates (and this is where the novel begins) (1 st person) – In other parts, Pedro’s thoughts are present (1 st person) Often, these internal monologues are related to Susana – There is also a traditional 3 rd person omniscient narrator – Lastly, there are various lines of dialogue, unidentified voices of ghosts who haunt the town

6 Representations of society Pedro: his accumulation of land as a rancher relates back to the events during the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz – His attempts to modernize Mexico allowed for the creation of places like Media Luna and strong local elite leaders, like Pedro Susana: she relates back to the repressed role of women in a patriarchal order – Hints of incest with her father – She is kept almost like a possession – In Comala, women are used to populate the countryside with illegitimate children (think of Miguel) Do not forget about the peasants, either. (we can talk about them more later)

7 Narrative framework Time is unclear in this novel – The presence of multiple narratives and voices at the same time has led some scholars to discuss “parallel memories” Despite the fragmented nature of the text, we do have a sequence of events – 1) Pedro’s adolescence and love for Susana – 2) Pedro’s build up of Media Luna (the birth of his tyranny) – 3)Miguel’s life and death – 4) The return of Susana and the Mexican Revolution – 5) The demise of Comala and Pedro’s death – 6) Juan’s search for his father – 7) The reawakening of the dead The novel begins and ends with Pedro’s sons (Abundio and Juan) – What can we make of this cyclical sort of structure? What might it say about the father-son relationship and what happens in between?

8 Names – Should we read into them? Comal – a flat pan for cooking corn cakes Pedro – Stone Paramo – a wasteland Preciado – valuable/prized Abundio – Abundance Dolores – Pain Fulgor – Shine/Brilliance Renteria – productive land or property


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