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Flowering Judas

The character of Braggioni in Katherine Anne Porter’s short story “Flowering Judas” is depicted as an astute and power-hungry leader of the Mexican revolutionary movement. Porter describes Braggioni as a man that “nobody dares to smile at”; Braggioni is “cruel to everyone with a kind of specialized insolence”. Braggioni is “rich not in money, but in power”, and “his power brings with it the blameless ownership of things, and the right to indulge the work in small luxuries”. He also has the “malice, the cleverness, the wickedness, the sharpness of wit, the hardness of heart, stipulated for loving the world profitably”. Moreover, his inner malice manifests itself in his appearance: “his eyes are the true tawny yellow cat`s eyes” and his big paunch indicate on Braggioni`s gluttony.

I believe that a man who betrayed his love for the supreme goals of revolution for authority and value of people`s life for selfishness (he even betrays his own life that loves him more than anything in the world) is not capable of craving redemption. Such kinds of people think only of themselves. Even though Braggioni would sacrifice himself for the sake of an idea, he would commit it only because of his egoism. The spiritual and material betrayal of Braggioni can be noticed in the allegory of colors of the clothes of the latter and the color of the blossoming flowers in Judas’ tree. Braggioni cannot be a savior, because he is not an ideal of a revolutionary. He leaves dying the poor Eugenio saying that he got rid of him at last. Redemption is a notion too grand in significance for such a despisable man as Braggioni, a man that leaves his comrades dying.



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