The Loss of Identity Comparison of Pedro Paramo and Beloved

The Loss of Identity of Paul D. and Abundio

IB English A1 Higher Level

World Literature Paper 2A

Alex Koo

Candidate #:

Mrs. Anderson

Date Submitted: January 12th, 2011

Word Count: 1488

    The idea of the loss of identity is portrayed both in Beloved by Toni Morrison, and in Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo by the characters of Paul D and Abundio Martinez. While both novels illustrate this theme, the two characters have different relationships with their identity. While Paul D continuously runs away from his identity and past, Abundio Martinez yearns to find it. Beloved, was written to expose the long lasting effects the evil institution of slavery have on slaves, even after they achieve freedom. A major consequence is the mental and emotional imprisonment by the slave’s past that seems to continually haunt them. In the case of Paul D, the past has become his identity and he wants nothing to do with it. In Pedro Paramo, the town of Comola epitomizes the loss of identity as it is filled with ghosts who wander looking for closure and salvation. Abundio Martinez, one of Pedro Paramo’s unclaimed sons, also wanders, but unlike Paul D who wanders to escape his past, Abundio seeks to find his identity. Both characters experience the loss of individualism as Paul D is simply another slave and Abundio is merely another son. With this, although both characters demonstrate this loss, both approach their identity differently with Paul D trying to escape, and Abundio trying to find it.

    In Morrison’s Beloved, Paul D is a slave in Kentucky, working first at Sweet Home under the authority of Mr. and Mrs. Garner. Although he plans to escape with his other fellow slaves, he does not manage to make it, and instead gets caught. Thus, for eighteen years Paul D. continuously escapes, gets caught, escapes, and gets caught again. His past is filled with enmity and rancor towards the white men. After Sweet Home, he ends up in a chain-gang where he suffers many...