Federico de la Fe is one of the main characters in The People of Paper. Federico de la Fe’s response against Saturn stems from his need to fix his own personal issues. His belief states that the celestial being, Saturn is watching his movements and altering his destiny. He believes that Saturn possesses the power to manipulate his fate and destiny and the sole reason for his own personal misfortune. This belief stems from his failure to control the midnight bed wetting that ultimately drives his wife away forever. His bitter resentment originally began from himself and he drowned in depression and anxiety. He overcomes this fear with burning his own flesh and letting the flames lick across his flesh, enough to pus and leave burns across his navel. This allowed him to be distracted from his own crushing depression however the relief is short-lived as the depression always comes back. He gains a sudden insight of Saturn once he has a brief stay in a lead mechanical “tortoise” (I’m assuming it’s a Volkswagon Beetle). The lead acts as a shield from the prying eyes of Saturn and the heavenly eye cannot pierce through the lead shell. Ferderico de la Fe realizes this once he enters the shell and feels relief for once. Thus begins his campaign against Saturn.

“Federico de la Fe put his hand in the embers until it hurt so much that he could not feel his sadness and instead smelled only his singed flesh. After he wrapped his hand with an old scarf and rubbed on an ointment that the curandero had given him, he wrote down all the things the fire had cured: 1. itch 2. bed-wetting 3. sadness Federico de la Fe’s only regret was that he had not discovered fire ten years earlier. Every night, when the sun hid underneath the flat earth and Little Merced slept on the dry straw bed, Federico de la Fe went into the kitchen and lit the stove so his remorse would not return.”

His drive against Saturn stems from his lack of success in his ventures of life. He’s lost his wife and later on in the novel briefly loses his daughter. Ultimately his war against Saturn fails but he no longer has any reason to fight against Saturn. All of his worries, secrets, and fears were laid bare as the end of the war begins to close. We as the audience finally see Federico de La Fe at peace once all his burns come to light and with his burn collection comes out his secrets and fears. We finally see in depth why Federico de la Fe does the things he does based upon the burns that are scattered across his chest and legs. They are remnants of his past life as he is reborn. He also disappears towards the end of the novel and Saturn’s all seeing eye is no longer trained upon the lives of the EMF; Saturn has his own agenda that he must fulfill and in the end Federico de la Fe gets his wish and the omnipotent observer’s eyes cannot reach Fderico de la Fe any longer.

Plascencia, Salvador. The People Of Paper. Pub Group West, 2005. Print.

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One Response to “Federico de La Fe – Characterization of the general on the War against Saturn”

  1.   salvarez said:

    Justin, what’s the page number for that citation? Also follow the MLA for block quotes please.

    I would also take this section from your P section and move it to your E section directly after the quote:

    “His bitter resentment originally began from himself and he drowned in depression and anxiety. He overcomes this fear with burning his own flesh and letting the flames lick across his flesh, enough to pus and leave burns across his navel. This allowed him to be distracted from his own crushing depression however the relief is short-lived as the depression always comes back. He gains a sudden insight of Saturn once he has a brief stay in a lead mechanical “tortoise” (I’m assuming it’s a Volkswagon Beetle). The lead acts as a shield from the prying eyes of Saturn and the heavenly eye cannot pierce through the lead shell. Ferderico de la Fe realizes this once he enters the shell and feels relief for once.”

    Then take this from your E section and move it to the P after the sentence that ends “. . .the sole reason for his own personal misfortune.”:

    “His drive against Saturn stems from his lack of success in his ventures of life. He’s lost his wife and later on in the novel briefly loses his daughter. Ultimately his war against Saturn fails but he no longer has any reason to fight against Saturn. All of his worries, secrets, and fears were laid bare as the end of the war begins to close.”

    See how that reads, it might not sound as good, but it’s a suggestion. Consider it an experiment.

    Why do you assume the tortoise shell is a VW? Any evidence from the text?

    Finally, I counted 10 “to be” verbs. Use strong verbs . . .

    4 out of 5 possible points.

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