Walden Two


The Demons Within

There are many interesting, well developed, entertaining, colorful, exciting, and provocative characters in Mario Vargas LlosaÕs novel Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter. Pedro Camacho is quite a character, as well as Aunt Julia herself. I was even greatly intrigued by such small characters as Cousin Nancy and, believe it or not, the cabdriver who helped find a mayor to marry Aunt Julia and Marito. however, nobody in the whole book interested me more than Marito Varguitas himself. He is just such a well developed character, and really seems like a person who would be fun to know. In fact, nothing about Marito interested me more than the demons that he possesses, or should I say seem to posses him and manifest themselves in his life as well as his stories.

One of the many demons Marito possesses is his writing itself. he seems to constantly be in the middle of writing another short story to send to some newspaper or magazine. The thing is, none of these stories actually ever seem to be very good or successful. Throughout the novel, not one of them is ever actually publisher. Not even MaritoÕs friends really like his writing. In Chapter thirteen he reads the one about Aunt Eliana to Javier, Aunt Julia, and even to Pascual and Big Pablito. After they hear it, not one of them really has anything nice to say about it at all. So, although writing is one of MaritoÕs passions, it is also one of his demons. It is basically his job and how he makes a living at the radio station ÒRadio Panamericana,Ó but it controls the rest of his live away from work as well.

Another demon possessed by or possessing Marito is that of age. Age obviously plays a huge role in this novel. Marito is barely eighteen years old, not even a legal adult in his own country, and yet he is in love with Aunt Julia, how is not only divorced, but also many years older than her lover at thirty something years old. His age seems to cause many conflicts for Marito throughout the book. The funny thing is that when it was preventing him from marrying Aunt Julia, all that was done was simply to change one number, a six to a three, to solve the problem. In the end, it really didnÕt seem as if age was really the issue that was the problem for Marito and Aunt JuliaÕs family.

Another huge demon in the story is incest. Incest is everywhere in this book! First and most obvious is the relationship between Marito and aunt Julia. They are not actually blood relatives, but Aunt Julia is MaritoÕs Uncle Lucho's sister in law. But that still makes here a relative of sorts and therefore makes their relationship and eventual marriage wrong, especially in the eyes of the family. another interesting thing in the book is that every other one of Aunt JuliaÕs suitors who come to call is also a distant relative of some sort. The last bit of incest comes out at the very end of the story. After and eight year marriage, and a divorce that actually devastates the family, Marito remarries an actual blood relative. He marries his cousin Patricia and turns his aunt and uncle in to his mother and father in law. ItÕs funny that his family didnÕt seem to have too much of a problem accepting this marriage. Perhaps they were numb to it by this time.

Another demon expressed in MaritoÕs writing and life is money. There never seems to be enough of it for him to do what he wants. He canÕt take Aunt Julia out as much as he would like because he doesnÕt earn enough money. He canÕt move out of his familyÕs house and solve most of his problems with them because he doesnÕt earn enough money to pay rent at an apartment. He also almost risks not being able to marry Aunt Julia for want of money to pay the mayor. Likewise, money also shows up in his writing. For example, the story about the soccer referee Joaquin Hinostroza Bellmont in chapter sixteen had a great deal to do with money. In my opinion, Marito was writing about money so much due to the fact that he had none.

One final demon