Symbolism of Aura by Carlos Fuentes, Literary Essay Sample

Published: 2022-03-30
Symbolism of Aura by Carlos Fuentes, Literary Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Argumentative essay
Categories:  Symbolism
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 872 words
8 min read

The Novella Aura written by Carlos in second person perspective hides some symbolism under its surface. This novel allows the reader to take up the role of a young man Felipe Montero who takes up the task of brushing an old woman's dead husband manuscript. Even though Felipe is the main protagonist, the reader gets to assume his position, therefore, making the reader the main protagonist of the story. This paper will discuss some of the symbolism found in the novella.

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As Felipe lives in Consuelo's house, he discovers a strange connection between Aura and Consuelo. Felipe sees Aura butchering an animal outside. Soon after he runs inside the house only to find Consuelo performing the same actions mid-air (Fuentes 91). It turns out Aura and Consuelo have same coordinated actions. As it turns out Aura is just a simulation of Consuelo. Aura herself symbolizes youth and beauty that is the obsession of Consuela. Felipe also discovers that General Llorente is a war hero. It turns out he is also a symbol of General Llorente. In the story, the love Felipe has for Aura represents good while Consuela's witchcraft represents evil. However, it should be noted that in the story Felipe contemplates whether Consuela brought him back to life. Which means she turned to evil because of love for her husband which symbolizes good. This paradox between good and evil represents the real life paradox of good and evil where people do evil things to justify the good.

"'re sleeping all alone, far from the body you believe you have possessed." (Fuentes 115). This phrase describes how Felipe felt while trying to sleep. It symbolized Felipe feeling detached from his old self. He felt like he was occupying another person's body. In this case, General Llorente was having a hard time distinguishing between dreams and reality. " stop thinking because there are things stronger than the imagination. (Fuentes 117). The words in this quote symbolize the conflict is going on within Felipe's mind.

There is symbolism in the description of Consuela's house. The house is being described as being dark. The inhabitants have to move around by touching and listening. Consuela had made a point of maintaining the building in its original state. The darkness, in this case, symbolizes Felipe's thoughts. One is unable to see clearly while inside the building. This lack of sight inside the building is a representation of the mindset of Felipe who is unable to think and figure out what's happening. The perpetual shadows inside the house symbolize Aura. Both the shadows and Aura are not real. He does not seem to realize that Aura is just a younger representation of Consuela. He symbolizes General Llorente. All these are happening because of Consuela in her attempt to be reunited with her dead husband.

Felipe and Aura are a symbolism of youth and desire while Consuela and General Llorente symbolize old age and death reality. Felipe's desires for Aura overcome his perception of reality. He is unable to perceive what is real and what is not. He also perceives Consuela as evil and sees himself and Aura as being trapped in that house. His desires for Aura enable him to continue staying in Consuela's house despite it being almost uninhabitable. The reality of the situation is the first group, Felipe, and Aura, are symbolism of illusions while the second group, Consuela and the general, symbolize reality.

Aura seems to be spending much of her time in the garden patio. Felipe was looking for her in the garden. He seemed to be smelling the garden smell in Aura's hair. In this case, the garden is also a symbolism of a state of mind. Felipe viewed Aura as the answer to the troubles he was having inside the house. On the other hand, he was conflicted and searching for other answers inside his mind. His search for Aura in the garden patio was a symbolism of his search for answers within his mind.

Another instance of symbolism is present in Felipe's relation with Aura. In the story, the reader comes across this quote, "You grasp the fragile woman by the shoulders, ignoring her sharp complaint. You tear off her taffeta robe, embrace her, feel her small and lost naked in your arms, despite her moaning resistance, her feeble protests". This act by Felipe is reminiscent of General Llorente actions when he invaded Mexico as seen from his memoirs. Aura, in this case, symbolizes Mexico. Aura withers and turns into the old Consuela. This process is also a symbolism of the country Mexico as it was invaded it becomes frail and weak. As the story ends, there is the hope that Aura will be brought back by Consuela. Aura is representing the beautiful Utopia that Fuentes intends for Mexico to become.

The story itself talks about Consuela being represented by Aura and Felipe representing the General. At the end of the novel, as Felipe consummates his fantasies of Aura, she turns into Consuela, and Felipe turns into General Llorente. This story is a representation of the Mexicans believes in reincarnation where General Llorente reincarnated as Felipe while Consuela reincarnated as Aura.

Work Cited

Fuentes, Carlos. "Aura. 1962." English: Trans. Lysander Kemp. New York: Farrar (1975).

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