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Literary Analysis Essay

1566 words - 6 pages

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[Writer's name][Professor's name][Course title][Date]American Literature II - Literary Analysis EssayKatherine Anne Porter 's "Flowering Judas" depicts a paralyzed female in a modern wasteland. Laura, a young American expatriate teaching in Mexico, envisions herself a revolutionist, a supporter of an ideal cause although her experiences invalidate her belief. As her contribution to the cause, she runs errands for Braggiono, a fat, corrupt revolutionary leader who seeks to seduce her. On one such errand, Laura delivers drugs to Eugenio in jail, and he commits suicide with an overdose. Subsequently, Laura's dream, in which he calls her a murderer, forces her to acknowledge her betrayal of Eugenio. Even more significant, however, she understands that she has betrayed herself. She has said "no"-not only to Braggiono but to all love as well. Caring for no one, not even her students or the prisoners to whom she ministers, she has rejected all feeling, all emotion; in essence, she has rejected life. Paralyzed and lonely, Laura desperately needs faith, but she finds herself faithless. Neither the Catholic faith of her childhood nor the revolutionary cause of her present provide any real meaning.ThemesFaith and BetrayalIn this novel faith and betrayal are dominant themes. They go hand in hand the novel is based on a series of differences and similarities amongst faith in a particular religion , faith in a particular ideal, and fidelity based on both lust and romance , every one of the before mentioned faiths are betrayed . For instance, Laura is a Roman Catholic and thus has been brought up accordingly. However the revolution does not believe in any kind of religion, especially Catholic Church (Lavers p77). She is incapable of separating herself from both religious beliefs as well as her political ideals, and thus she feels like she has betrayed both.Ideals and RealityThe distinction between ideals and reality is directly associated to the contrast of the theme of faith and betrayal. Laura believes in strong ideals, however the reality of her condition is extremely unacceptable to her. The fact that she did not believe in her faith anymore was a predictable part of her life. SheAlienationThe fact that Laura is a young is American women who is fighting for a political cause in a foreign country, also shows that the theme of alienated is quite strong in this novel. Laura is not common with the history and culture of Mexico; neither does he belong to it. Thus she feels isolated and alienated (Hardy p5).LoveLaura is extremely committed to her cause but she has no love for the Mexican people. She even replies coldly to the peasant children's fondness and to her different suitor's enthusiastic advances (West p128). Associated to this weakness are Laura's sexual suppression and her complete loss if faith of her religion .Values DepictedLaura and Braggioni obviously live by different sets of values. The latter, who masquerades as a...

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