Pedro Parámo by Juan Ranulfo

Decent Essays
Are we held back by our memories? In his novel Pedro Parámo, Juan Rulfo questions the voices that fill the town, the voices that represent old souls’ past memories. Rulfo’s conception of our past is that it haunts us, forcing the characters to revisit their own pasts in order to find meaning and forgiveness. Specifically, the story explores the nature of memory and the past by recounting the stories of all the inhabitants who have died in the town Comála. Everyone in the town is dead. The characters are only representations of voices and murmurs, those of which live in Comála. All of these dead people, ultimately, “more than enough kind souls to go around” (Rulfo 45) are in pain and are presented as if they were living in another world, a world in a strange limbo of memory. Juan Rulfo paints a vivid description of a “ghost town” in the city of Comála. His depiction of the town and the imagery he uses to describe it allows the reader to imagine the town to be similar to that of a graveyard. Death leads Rulfo to drawing conclusions about memories. The structure of death, the thematic forcing of diction and repetition, is evident from the beginning. On the first page of the novel, readers are exposed to Rulfo’s word choices: “dying,” “died,” and “dead.” Moving forward, the town of Comála looks “dead,” it is deserted, the air is “dead” and Juan Preciado, the narrator, describes it as a “dead village.” Death pervades the entire novel, both in a literal and figurative approach.
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