Good Conscience

Practical Family and Ideal Religion
The Good Conscience by Carlos Fuentes is about an upper class family in Guanajuato, Mexico, who had power and authorities over many workers. The head of the house whole is Jorge Balcárcel who is Jaime Ceballos’s uncle. Even though Jaime’s father, Rodolfo is the direct descendent of the Ceballos, he is not a leader because he is viewed as weak, confused, and indecisive. He is controlled totally by his sister, Asuncion and her husband, Balcárcel who also responsible for the family’s business. Jaime’s mother, Adelina who was from a lower class, is driven away by his aunt, Asunción. Asunción wants Jaime as her son due to the reason that she cannot get pregnant. After giving birth to Jaime, Adelina left and eventually ends up becoming a prostitute. Asunción, who cannot get a child from her impotent husband, clings on to Jaime and exercises a moral control over the boy using religious rituals and the church. Being raised by his aunt and uncle, Jaime is taught to be obedient and a good Christian. Through out the story, Jaime encounters events that change his views about his family, his religion, and the society as a whole. He realizes that his life is not as perfect as he thought it was. The protagonist, Jaime Ceballos, is its only heir and is torn between the practical reality of his family’s world and the idealism of his youth and religion.
Growing up, Jaime always thinks that he has an ideal life, which his uncle has laid out for him. His aunt, Asunción, treats Jaime as the only family’s jewel. She always wanted him to “be small, may he never grow up” (Page 26) because she wants to protect him from the hurtful truth. Asunción does not want Jaime to learn about what she did to his mother. Later in the book, Jaime realizes the truth about his mother, Adelina. Asunción had planed to get rid of Adelina since the first time she set foot into the Ceballos family. The fact that Asunción cannot get pregnant contributes to her hatred...