Character's Motivation in Pedro Paramo: Focus on Susana San Juan.

Essay by ceciliafaeUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 2005

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The suffering and struggles of people is a key theme in Juan Rulfo's Pedro Páramo. For the dead of Comala, the desire of eternal rest, a way to Heaven, is a struggle shared by almost all, except for Susana San Juan. Susana's true motivation is to be the manager of her own happiness, the ruler of herself, in a society in which women had no sovereignty over their own lives.

Susana's first battle for independence is fought against her father, Bartolomé San Juan. We first see how cruel he is when Bartolomé subjects Susana, as a child, to be lowered into a mine to try and find gold coins amongst a skeleton, a quite frightening event for the young Susana (Rulfo 91). Later in her life, after she is widowed, Susana rebels against her father, calling him by his first name and eventually escaping his rule by marrying Pedro Páramo against her father's wishes (Rulfo 83-84).

Susana does not love Pedro when she marries him. He simply serves as her financial support in her escape from her father, since she would not have been able to support herself in Mexico's, especially rural, patriarchal society. She knows that Pedro still loves her from their childhood romance and uses his obsession with her to her advantage. However, she might have feared Pedro's ability to have a cruel dominance over her life, as he controlled all the women in his life. Pedro is known to have had bastard children and use his power and wealth to sexually take advantage of many women of Comala. Susana uses her madness to escape Pedro's ability to control and overbear her. She avoids ever being used by Pedro by drawing into herself and keeping herself happy by dreaming of the love she had for her first...