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Dona Perfecta

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  • April 8, 2012
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Dona Perfecta, written by B. Perez Galdos, is a novel that explores the conflict between the new progressive movement and the old religious school of thought. This conflict takes place in the small Spanish village of Orbajosa. Narrow-minded Catholic zealots dominate Orbajosa. The most prominent of the zealots is Dona Perfecta. Dona is traditional catholic and strives to fight any opposition to her fixed beliefs. Pepe Rey, her nephew, presents the biggest challenge to Dona because he is an engineer who relies on scientific fact rather than religious faith. Dona feels as though Pepe is challenging her and the towns’ livelihood. This belief leads Dona to not only turn the town against Pepe, but also to have him killed. Dona’s Catholic belief system is only a facade to her evil nature. The town of Orbajosa is presented to be a small yet inviting town. Pepe is welcomed to the town warmly and happily. Dona is the first to greet Pepe when the narrator states, “the sincere expression of her affection, was receiving him at the gate itself in her loving arms” (23). Dona appears to be a very loving and hospitable character. She also surprises Pepe with her lengthy preparations to his room when the narrator states, “Pepe recognized in all the details of the room the diligent and loving hand of the woman” (24). Dona has proven that she is capable of being kind and loving towards those who pose no threat to her lifestyle. However, it is only when Pepe denounces religion that Dona feels threatened and begins to revel her evil nature. When Pepe and the town canon, Don Inocencio, meet, the men clash with their ideals. Both are intelligent and therefore, are stubborn. Pepe reveals to Don Inocencio that science is more valid than religion when he states, “Mysticism in religion, routine in science, mannerism in art, are failing, as the Pagan gods fell” (36). Pepe expresses his opinions about science and religion without any hesitation. Don Incencio and the towns’ people of Orbajosa...