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Christ in Concrete, by Pietro di Donato - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Tutor: Date: Paul’s Transformation from a Catholic to an Atheist and from Exploited Worker to a Self-aware Proletariat In the novel, “Christ in Concrete” Pietro Donato has vindicated the hollowness of religions or, in particular, Catholicism’s promise, for people’s freedom and emancipation from exploitation and oppression, thorough the protagonist’s gradual transformation from Catholicism to a liberated proletariat…
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Christ in Concrete, by Pietro di Donato
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Download file to see previous pages Paul’s as well as other worker’s aggravation in a capitalist scenario pushes them to take resort to the consolation of Catholicism. But the hollowness of the doctrinal consolation further throws them into more frustration. Ultimately Paul feels that he has to rise above the inertia that Catholic belief imposes upon him. Thus Pietro purports that Catholicism’s essential function is to perpetuate the working class people’s sufferings, since it allures those people to be more tolerating, submissive and compliant to their exploiters to achieve something intangible instead of improving their condition tangibly. Thus Catholicism has turned into one of the capitalist institution, as xxx says in this regard, “In a reality filled with deprivation, humiliation and exploitation the Catholic institutions lose influences and effective as capitalist entities, represented by the allegorical Job and Boss, take their place” (). From the very beginning of his life, Paul is familiar with the catholic beliefs and its tenets that have given birth to a lingering forbearance for suffering and to accept the hardship in the workplace as a test of faith in God. Ironically his father Geremio seeks God’s guidance and help in the problems and hardships, caused by the Capitalist omnivorous greed for money and benefit. Geremio says, “It is not possible to breathe God’s air without fear dominating the pall of unemployment….To rebel is to lose all of the very little. To be obedient is to choke. O dear Lord, guide my path” (Donato 13). The underlying irony of the Catholicism is that it teaches people to seek heavenly guidance for problems created earthly exploiters like Boss and Job. Indeed the hollowness of Catholicism is further exposed by Geremio’s vain unanswered imploration for Jesus’ help in the collapse of the building, while burying him alive. He is constantly aware of the danger in the workplace and, Job and Boss’s reluctance to pay their attention to such danger. Yet he seeks for Jesus’ help: “Show yourself now, Jesu! Now is the time! Why don’t you come! Are you there! I cannot stand it-ohhh! Why do you let it happen-where are you? Hurry hurry hurry!” (Donato 18) Through little Paul’s experience Pietro’s readers view the church as an institution that survives at the mercy of capitalism; as an institution of capitalism that nourish capitalist interests by subduing the workers’ reaction to the injustice and exploitation of the upper class of the society, replacing these rebellious emotions of the working class people with a vain doctrinal optimism for God’s help and that is void of any compassion for the oppressed and the distressed. Little Paul, who has prematurely shouldered the responsibility of his family at his childhood, sees the priest sitting at a “long table reaching away beautifully lit with slim candle throwing warm glow on shiny porcelain plates containing baked potatoes and cuts of browns dripping lambs and fresh peas and platters of hot food cold food hard food soft food” (58), while he and his family remain hungry. Upon Paul’s request, Father John replies that he has “nothing to do with charities. There is a board of trustee who confers and pass on the expenditure” (59). Paul’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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