The Family of Pascual Duarte an Analysis of Goodness
Camilo Jose Cela’s The Family of Pascual Duarte tells the story of Pascual, a convict of murder, constructs his memoirs while waiting on his execution. It is said that Pascual spent most of his final months in prison detailing how he came to be in his situation. Although he was born into a brutal world of poverty, hatred, and abandonment-Pascual withholds a childlike sense of the world. This childlike sense of the world allowed Pascual to embrace acts of goodness presented throughout the novel.
The lifestyle in which Pascual was raised cannot be ignored when attempting to understand his later actions. Rosario, Pascual’s only sister was born during Pascual’s younger years. Rosario represents goodness throughout the novel. This goodness aids in quieting the aggression and abuse within the household. The environment she produces changes the Duarte’s. This twist in the story allows Pascual to witness a since of peace and happiness in his life. He witnesses a change within his father that allows him to embrace Rosario’s presence as favourable. “My father would sit on the floor beside the small box, and the hours would pass as he watched his daughter, with the face of a lover, as Senora Engracia said, so that I almost forgot his real nature.” (Cela 30) She changes her father’s character from aggressor to calm and reserved. This reserved aggression and behaviour while Rosario was present in their lives allowed the family to embrace the limited amount of goodness within their characters. Pascual grasp’s her presence as a sign of hope, a sense of possibilities that they could break free of despair and misfortune. Rosario’s presence creates peace but then her abrupt disappearances create rage and destruction, diminishing all hope for a goodness of life. “She was no sooner well again, and happiness momentarily visited on our parents--- who were united only in their common concern for the girl.”(Cela 33). Rosario’s...
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