Is it relevant to discuss Eleonora in “Eleonora” by Edgar Allan Poe and Tia Roma in Torquemada at the Stake by Benito Perez Galdos as agents of knowledge or as objectified characters?
Quote #1 (from text #1)
Eleonora “grieved to think that, having entombed her in the Valley of the Many-Colored Grass, I would quit forever its happy recesses, transferring the love which now was so passionately her own to some maiden of the outer and every-day world” (Poe 146).
To state whether Eleonora is an agent of knowledge or an objectified character, it is necessary to focus on her vision of death and her attitude to her lover expressed in her words and actions. Thus, the power of Eleonora is in her possibility to focus on the moments which are important in life. Asking her lover about the possibilities to fall in love with another woman, Eleonora demonstrates her ability to analyze and predict situations.
Quote #2 (from text #2)
When Tia Roma saw Valentin “gripped by that terrible illness, which according to her was a rupture of the talent in his head”, the old maid “went to inquire morning and afternoon; she got into the boy’s bedroom and sat for long hours beside his bed, gazing at him silently, her eyes like two inexhaustible fountains that poured tears over the aging parchment of her face and neck” (Galdos 34).
While Valentin is suffering from his illness, Tia Roma demonstrates her wisdom through the real actions and predictions of the actions of Valentin’s father. When Torquemada is focused on his suffering because of Valentin’s illness, Tia Roma chooses to act to relieve Valentin’s sufferings.
Narrative space from text #1
The narrative space in “Eleonora” is the Valley of the Many-Colored Grass which as beautiful as Eleonora herself. The descriptions of the Valley of the Many-Colored Grass are associated with the discussions of Eleonora’s perfect and delicate character and appearance because all the flowers of the valley cannot even reflect the beauty of the young woman. Thus, the descriptions of the valley serve to emphasize the character of Eleonora.
Narrative space, text #2
The narrative space in Torquemada at the Stake which is associated with Tia Roma is the house of Torquemada where Tia Roma is responsible for creating the atmosphere and comfort for all the members of the family. As a result, any situation in the house can be closely associated not with the cruel nature of Torquemada but with the attempts of Tia Roma to create a comfortable small world for the family which is close to the maid.
Symbol from text #1
The character of Eleonora is directly associated and compared with the Seraphim because of the young woman’s innocence and inner spiritual purity. That is why her actions and thoughts as clear and innocent as the intentions of the Seraphim directed toward protecting the people’s souls.
Symbol from text #2
Tia Roma’s character is associated with the image of the Virgin because this woman intends to protect Torquemada’s family as the mother for whom all the family’s members are children who can lose their rights way. Tia Roma’s task, as it is the task of the Virgin, is to provide the family with a blessing. Moreover, Tia Roma always refers to the divine power as the protective one to direct the people’s life.
Even though the characters of Eleonora and Tia Roma can be discussed as different from the authors’ descriptions, these characters act and behave as the agents of knowledge rather than the submissive objectified characters because they demonstrate significant inner power, and they can predict the people’s actions or the further events because of their inner purity; that is why both authors are inclined to associate the characters with the divine images of the Seraphim and the Virgin.
Galdos, Benito Perez. Torquemada at the Stake. New York: Columbia University Press, 1986. Print.
Poe, Edgar Allan. Edgar Allan Poe’s Annotated Short Stories. USA: Bottletree Books LLC, 2008. Print.