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Pedro Paramo and House of the Spirits.

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Introduction

World Literature Assignment One Pedro P�ramo and The House of the Spirits Word Count- 1346 How the novels Pedro P�ramo by Juan Rulfo and The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende expose the systems of control embedded in Catholicism Pedro P�ramo and The House of the Spirits both contain many references to Christianity, and make many statements about the systems of control instituted by Catholicism. By using a town's priest as a symbol of religious control and leadership, Juan Rulfo and Isabel Allende have both exposed the ways that religion seeks to control its believers. One of the many ways religion seeks to control its followers is by instituting the idea of an afterlife which is only obtainable if during one's current life you follow the religion's edicts to the letter. Also, monetary requirements as well as simply confessing your most guarded secrets to the Church further place the institution at the center of one's life. Both authors use the priests in conjunction with religious practices as ways to expose how Catholicism controls its adherents. In The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, Father Restrepo, "was blessed with a long, incriminating finger" (2) which he used to point out those who has transgressed against the church. ...read more.

Middle

Ferula's whole youth and freedom was controlled by religious ideals of the meek inheriting the earth and the promise of a better afterlife. The Catholic Church attempts to be present in all aspects of daily life by controlling the passage of time as well as what believers are allowed to do. Catholicism uses many traditional, in addition to social institutions to control society. Death is a large part of Pedro P�ramo by Juan Rulfo, since much of the novel deals with how you can leave purgatory and enter heaven. Comala is purgatory as well as hell in this novel, "up- and downhill we went, but always descending. We had left the hot wind behind and were sinking into a pure, airless heat" (5). The setting shows that this town is the embodiment of what occurs if one does not obey the church's decrees. Juan Rulfo crafted a world plagued with the results of being controlled by the Catholic way of life in Pedro P�ramo. Even in death, if one was deemed unworthy to enter heaven by the church, no amount of prayer can possibly lead to their salvation, "No, I won't give my blessing. G-d will not smile on me if I intercede for him" (25). ...read more.

Conclusion

The Church only was able to control the lives of its adherents and was unable to fulfill its promise of granting an afterlife in heaven. The House of the Spirits as well as Pedro P�ramo illustrate worlds where Catholicism dictates the pace and activities of life. In The House of the Spirits, nonbelievers and believers alike are drawn to the church to either fulfill spiritual obligations or to simply not be ostracized by the community. The church was the controller of time itself as well as how people interacted because if you fell on Father Restrepo's bad will, you would be excommunicated and be a social outcast. Similarly in Pedro P�ramo, the supposed result of not adhering to the principles of Catholicism was an eternity in purgatory. If you were rich but cruel you could not fulfill the commandments of being righteous, but if you are poor and law abiding, you would then be unable to afford the cost of church rites. Since it was impossible to obey every rule the Church would decree, you were at its mercy hoping you would be afforded salvation. One's existence is wrapped up in pleasing the church and bending to its will hoping you would be given the chance to enter heaven. The priests, who served as the religious proxies of the church, expose how both novels illustrate the systems of control embedded in and perpetuated by Catholicism. ...read more.

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