A COMPARISON OF FAULKNER'S AND RULFO'S TREATMENT OF THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN REALITY AND ILLUSION IN "ABSALOM, ABSALOM!" AND "PEDRO PARAMO".
AuthorRUKAS, NIJOLE MARIJA.
AdvisorEvans, Gilbert E.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe aim of this study is not to explain Juan Rulfo in the light of William Faulkner, although the latter's influence among Spanish American writers is unquestionable. Rather, I propose to specifically examine Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! and Rulfo's Pedro Paramo in comparative terms, since both novels are about the conflict between human desire and reality: they deal with longings, particularly those of Thomas Sutpen and Pedro Paramo, which never achieve ultimate satisfaction, in spite of these central characters' overwhelming and obsessive will to power which creates Sutpen's Hundred and Comala in the image of each protagonist. Each character tries to assume the omnipotence of a god, once his unthinking participation in the existential reality has been destroyed by chance traumatic occurrences. Comparable metamorphic organizing images exist in the two novels: a square and a circle. They represent the protagonists' conception of a protected space/world with an illusory center, born out of desire and representing an ideal which would render meaningful Sutpen's and Paramo's existence. The heart of Sutpen's dream is an heir to continue his dynasty and Paramo is haunted by the idealized Susana whom he claims to be the reason of all his actions. However, the two fabricated worlds are eventually revealed as fictions, and the centers of both structures collapse into the dust of reality. What remains of the two protagonists is only a motionless marble tombstone in a decayed plantation and a crumbled heap of stones in a moribund village. The inheritors of the two worlds are a mulatto idiot and an incestuous couple. After commenting on some critical opinions of the two novels and their protagonists, I trace the conception, the workings, and the collapse, with its consequences, of the two worlds of desire. I follow an approximately chronologial order, although the two texts are anything but chronological.
Degree ProgramSpanish and Portuguese