Pecado de omisión

El Pecado de omisión es un cuento muy realista de Ana María Matute. El cuento, cuyo protagonista es Lope, abarca 5 años y tiene lugar en el campo de España. Después de la muerte del padre de Lope, el chico fue dejado a su tío, don Emeterio. El tío le emplea como pastor, así debe vivir en las montañas cuidando los animales totalmente aislado. Cuando revuelve después 5 años le da ataque nervioso viendo las diferencias entre su vida desierta y la vida comóda de la gente del pueblo. Por fin ocurre la tragedia: Lope mata a Emeterio porque piensa que es la única manera de representar sus sentimientos y su odio. El título refiere al pecado de Lope, es claro. No obstante, observamos otro culpable que es don Emeterio porque le manda a un chico joven a las montañas para deshacerse de la responsabilidad en vez de cuidarse y enseñarse. "Emeterio Ruiz no se llevaba bien con aquel primo lejano, (...) Luego, al chico, le recogió una vez huérfano, sin herencia ni oficio, no le miró a derechas." La escritora nos dirige y nos muestra una crítica social fuerte: los niños necesitan la educación.

Ana María Matute: The Fantasy of a Surrealist Writer
Posted on September 30, 1999 by Guest Author

by María L. Trigos-Gilbert Some of you may think surrealism is a plastic art term, from the paintings and sculptures that different artists create. Yet when I think about Ana María Matute, I associate her with Mr. Salvador Dalí, the most famous Spaniard surrealist painter. Mrs. Matute is pretty much a surrealist, though I’m not so sure if she would appreciate this title to her writing. The first time I read one of Mrs. Matute’s work, I felt hypnotized. I wanted to keep reading, thought the short fiction came to an end. My eyes kept staring at the last words, “Yes, yes, yes.” There were so many possible answers since Mrs. Matute had left the readers’ imagination and content to fill in the explicit questions or arguments. I became at that very moment one of those expected readers, looking for answers. Certainly I must confess: I don’t fracture my skull in literature’s matters. I take them just as they come. Let them go just as they go, sensing little trouble in all of their aspects. Of course, there is always an exception. In this case one of Mrs. Matute’s work is my exception. “Pecado de omisión,” which translated into English, means “Sin of Omission.” Most of the time Protestantism declares that a sin is a sin, not matter what. Sin doesn’t have a size, a name, or a color. So pretty much, a sin is a sin, period. Yet I have met some Catholic people who have assured me that there is something called “white lies.” Important to say, white lies don’t have a thing to do with one’s skin color! A white lie is a little lie, nothing major or traumatic for both parts (to the one saying it and to the one receiving it). Lope and His Sin of Omission Mrs. Matute decided to name her sin in her story. This situation leaves two kinds of sins in this short story; one is sin of omission, and the other sin of commission. Let’s start defining sin of omission: to disregard, to oversight, or to withhold someone or something. I think that it’s the perfect time to talk about Lope, the main character. Lope is a young teenager

Where’s the Sin? Lope’s & Emeterio’s Lope’s sin is to remain silent. five years in Sagrado. There wasn’t a tiny moment of true compassion toward this orphan. and winter go by without Lope going to town. and take that. one of Lope’s former teachers. Yet Lope’s reaction isn’t fully fulfilled until he by his own eyes looks at Manuel. though Roque never talks too much. The only thing that keeps Emeterio doing as he does. Matute. This is the only communication that Lope has with any human being year after year. she requests Emeterio to take care of her son. This is the only world Lope gets to know and understand. In the end. He gives the child the basics. Mr. Then Emeterio sends him to Sagrado. Sagrado was far from town. he knows about Emeterio’s unfair demeanor. though I’m sure Lope speaks a very understandable Spanish. to look after him. While Lope’s mother is still alive. Lope always does what Emeterio says. withholding deep inside Emeterio’s rudeness and greediness. a pillar of strength. and long time ago when Spain had real economic problems plus a lot of taboo. Crumbs are never easy to accept. “necessity overcomes pride. Lorenzo doesn’t argue with Emeterio. One must understand that this is taking place in a small village of Spain. Emeterio Ruiz Heridia and His Sin of Commission Let’s define sin of commission: To entrust. He expends just one day in town. Cause & Effect Lope never goes inside of Emeterio’s house. going from one place to the next trying to earn some money to feed his mother and himself. tells Lope how well Manuel Enríquez is doing in life. Francisca. Lope never goes to town. Yet as the saying goes. He has already lost his father. Lorenzo from any more talk about the matter. and one must earn some kind of support in order to survive. and the fact that is going to be a lawyer. If it may help. There wasn’t a personal relationship. Yet Emeterio’s narrow vision stops Mr. Lorenzo. a cousin of Lope’s father. to delegate. and perhaps other kinds of domesticated animals. The very first night he expends in Emeterio’s care. That the doctor confirms about Lope’s health. not even a place to live or to die. Lope doesn’t attend school for three years. Five years have passed. for about around fifteen years. In Emeterio’s mind. just by giving this child an opportunity to work. Mr. Lorenzo doesn’t do a thing. Lorenzo how senseless it all seems. picture that movie named Nell. close to fifty years old who is also a bit retarded. Came just on time for his check up from Emeterio’s doctor. Roque el Mediano. a place named Sacred when translated. taking care of his cattle in a remote place of the village in which they live. He tries to tell Emeterio how important an education could be for the teenager. at Emeterio’s barn. growing up practically in the forests with a very awkward companion. The prove of this is when Emeterio’s daughter. and a lot less to swallow them. Francisca doesn’t care about Lope’s feeling. except for the time of the party. besides understanding well what’s been said. informing him that Lope doesn’t have a thing because of the lack of planning from Lope’s father. So here we have a young man. or at least never thinks that this would make an impact in Lope’s reaction. just goes with the crow. Lope’s sin is of omission. is in Emeterio’s barn right there by the chickens. Lope. is the fact that he believes he’s doing right. fall. There is a man. Instead of talking it out or getting out of his precarious situation. life is hard. from man to man or from relative to relative. He seems strong as an oak tree. a life filled with crumbs coming from the so-called relative. As embarrassing as it may have been. Details. or to empower someone. or at least in a very hilly setting. Lorenzo tells Emeterio that Lope is pretty sharp. Emeterio’s explanations about the importance of this teenager working. just short commands like go here.” Many are the thoughts that Lope may have had during his life in poverty. His mother dies. Mr. Emeterio employees Lope in his farm. In a bar Mr. Whether we are talking about candy bars or sweet talks. but on the party’s day. The name of the well known party of the town isn’t given by Mrs. they receive some sort of financial help from Emeterio. sees him going to Sagrado.when his mother dies. he gets rich of repulsion toward Emeterio. Feeling as if he has been taken away the chance of living with dignity. just nods in acceptance of Emeterio’s short speech. Yet it’s said that this party takes place once a year since summer. so it’s his turn to support himself and his mother. Lope isn’t alone in Sagrado. Before Lope’s mother dies. He has to accept whatever he gets because he’s full of nothing. forget candies or sweet stuff. he notices the crumbs that he has been given. Roque is one of Emeterio’s employees. Emeterio tells Mr. So this medical check up assures . and with her death all the tiny possibilities for Lope’s success in life.

Now more than ever he understand that Emeterio hasn’t been so fair after all. sí. She comprises her story’s most exciting or climaxed parts with a giant suddenness. His classmate wasn’t the smart. that made him a man. There he pick up a rock. though they do? It is as if we are the one’s having a problem. Mercy. His classmate wasn’t a popular guy in the school that they attended. short and powerful. Am I making myself clear? I think so. que le hizo hombre. He still seem to be wanting to hang around Lope. crying and saying. he craves: a father. he sees how much of a waste his life has become. and their lost. one of the guys who contributed to write the book of Psalms. to judge. How are we to work with those who don’t seem to have a problem. against the inflexibility of Lope’s fingers. almost innocence. in order for him to take care of those undesirable traits. we do a lot more for people that aren’t related to us. My God. but so he was. but Lope looks at him a bit surprised. Dios mío. and putting their veils in front of their faces to show their sorrow. He thinks that his way is the only way as many people think. You are the one to decide how bad or good Lope has been. yes. The women there. sí. Dios mío. Of course. Let’s Judge the Facts As you may imagine. bad manager. él. then eighteen. almost saying that forgiveness isn’t deserved.” “Yes. but them. Yet this time Lope doesn’t understand this gentleman’s refined manners. He notices the difference between him and Manuel. You may give Emeterio a break since in the end he dies. a mother. “Sí. Lope for the first time acquires so much indignation. him. but Lope has trouble taking the cigarette out of the silver square box. Beyond Physical Needs This thirteen years old. This hurts Lope more than anything else. and to conclude giving a final vote. or at lot less something that will cause you to hate at first glance. Lope. se habría muerto de hambre si él no le recoge…) Let’s translate those words: “My God. This is the most important moment in the story. so commoner. One is the sophisticated. readers want to keep reading before making a wrong conclusion. he would have died of starvation if he wouldn’t have taken him in.” Lope gets carried by police officers. all so white. Her story is as people may say. you will be almost speechless of such amazing end. Yet there is a question pending: Are we going to forgive Emeterio. This end is almost like an explicit or rhetorical implication. deep inside thinking that this was because of his bad luck. My God. At that very moment. you may see that this women favor Emeterio. in front everyone Lope throws the rock toward Emeterio’s chest. David. Yes.” Now. start crying. and the other the uneducated. On the contrary. None of those women ever questions Emeterio. It isn’t that he is a real beast. Lope. a family. Like a Court Trial This story is different because here you get to be the judge. hypocrite. Lope looks at Manuel and hears him mumbling some words that he couldn’t understand. All he ever knows is work plus . but it’s super difficult to forgive those who don’t want to be forgiven. yes. or perceive life. Manuel gets glad for having met him once again. including Emeterio’s thin and distasteful wife. that was taken into his custody. requests God to show him his unnoticed mistakes. “JUST RIGHT. This is the time when Lope stays in town just to attend the village’s party. Therefore. so well arranged. What he doesn’t have. Matute causes us to think. Lope’s Indignation Takes Shape Lope’s blood starts getting thicker. the beast in town. él. Emeterio becomes the martyr. In this story. Manuel used to be the one wanting to hang around Lope. the one as the women say that gives Lope a place in the hills and food. that Emeterio doesn’t get to know a bit. That’s it. Lope sees Emeterio entertained with his grandsons. As far as I’m concern. if not a lot. but at least someone far from any sort of social skills. Certainly here we must just say that he is a very uneducated young man. In the end. Manuel offers Lope a cigarette. Even more if I recall well.Emeterio that his minuscule investment has been a wise move. Their sermon is the typical question. right there in the silence of your comfort. they have a point. Something super interesting happens. In less than ten minutes. Matute gives us a bit more. almost like suffocating him. him. que le había recogido. or people in general. this is one of her best stories. Yet Matute’s perfection doesn’t have a size. almost the size of a red ruined brick. Lope never gets the opportunity of having a man to man talk.” It isn’t something that will make you cry from the start. the unmerciful Emeterio. doesn’t want Emeterio’s social statues. because in the end they become the martyrs? Or are we to forgive people because they truly deserve it? Many religious people may argue this thought. If you read this story. That’s willingness. Of course. That’s all what he gets from Emeterio. but give Lope a bitter short sermon. how are we to do less for our own relatives? This is the matter that Matute nails. (Dios mío. One may say that this isn’t Matute’s best story since it is too short. Manuel fingers seem so flexible. we ought not to deny the fact that material stuff doesn’t count because here we would be a bit. or at all. being so unimportant.

as it is Galician. ¨ Doesn’t like the matter of choosing. that she’s all that Catalan. She is a giant among all writers. ¨ Will stop writing when she dies. authors aren’t set apart. Matute’s case. Someone else is telling us what happened which indeed makes it more believable. Spain speak Catalan. but someone with personality. but it isn’t a major change. Mrs. a magnificent woman. They just don’t come and go from our life. Matute takes care of her writing as well as she takes care of her readers. since to choose means to reject. “Among tastes and colors. If Francisca or Emeterio’s wife tells it. (Note: People from Barcelona. she is saying it to us perhaps a lot different from what in reality happened. from helping his widow mother to helping himself to survive. Conclusion Mrs. when asked what she considered herself the most. I’m a bull fight lover. ¨ Doesn’t consider herself a commoner. Ha. ¨ Doesn’t go to the bull fights in Spain because cares too much for the beasts. Matute isn’t my first favorite writer since I don’t have a very-first favorite writer. Spaniard. ¨ Doesn’t get mad. writers. ¨ Considers herself Catalan. If Lope tells the story. So Mrs. They stay forever within us. I must confess that Mrs. We have a sad picture which Mrs. It isn’t Spanish. thought. stories. is the fact she doesn’t go to bull fights. Matute’s story. we could be a bit skeptical. That’s fine. There are many writers out there who aren’t been read just because of our society’s greatness. or if to feel just as a “mere” lucky person who has read this Mrs. the interviews and her stories. or researches that get into our skin. What I See in “Sin of Omission” I’m not so sure if to feel like Christopher Columbus in America. Matute stated in her interview. Funny. This isn’t Mrs. I have had the opportunity to read some of her interviews. I have understood Matute from two sides. “Of course. before I truly decided to write about “Sin of Omission. I have taken a lot time.” Sometimes we read articles. we are still skeptical because we would say. and so she writes it in third person.) Article’s P. Matute gives the right persona. The only thing I would object. Matute’s Attitude Toward Life & People: ¨ Doesn’t know how to hate. Matute treats with a lot of respect and tact. Mrs. and European. Spaniard.” . ¨ Tolerates a lot.S. ¨ Knows that she is an individualist.” That’s a very fair thought. though Catalan is a bit more popular in Spain for Economic reasons. ¨ Too lazy to get into fights or great arguments.

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