Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter: Answering Questions

1) Mario Vargas Llosa tells the story is obviously older than the “Marito” who is living it . . . how would you describe the tone? what is the attitude of the narrator to the young man he was? 

 

2) if every other chapter, basically, represents one of Pedro Camacho’s serials —if they didn’t happen, in other words, what is the point of spending so much time on these characters/events/conflicts?

Given the title, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, the two main characters in the book, Aunt Julia and Pedro Camacho, are expressed individually in the book. In the parts where Mario narrates, we see Aunt Julia’s side of the story but Mario’s relationship with Pedro Camacho is very limited given his closed-off personality. In using half of the chapters for the serials, Mario is allowing Pedro Camacho to be expressed as an important character and the audience begins to understand him through the recurring ideas in his serials. For example, the repetition of the “man with an aquiline nose in the prime of his life” as the centre of the story may portray how Pedro sees himself. As the description is repeated continuously, it indicates that in some ways he is trying to convince himself of this description, ignoring that he is ‘missing out’ on reality. Additionally, as the man in his fifties is the main character in all of the serials, it could portray how Pedro feels he is at the centre of people’s lives and the world revolves around him.

 

3) If a story is basically, “one time, in one place, something happened” then it’s not really literature —it’s journalism or history or maybe even just gossip. Literature is usually thought to express something timeless —something true in a bigger sense. What might this novel be saying about life?

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