In "Flowering Judas," is Braggioni capable of salvation?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The one redeeming feature of Braggioni's character is that he chooses to restore his relationship with his wife after Laura tells him about the fate of Eugenio, and how he killed himself because he was bored. At this news, Braggioni leaves her (which was probably her intention all along) and goes back to his wife. Note the change in attitude that is expressed in this quote:

His wife leans her head on his arm and says, "Forgive me!" and this time he is refreshed by the solemn, endless rain of her tears.

Braggioni's opportunity for salvation is perhaps captured in this one sentence, which indicates his change of heart towards his wife and in particular her tears, which always before only annoyed and disgusted him. Even though Laura seems to recognise Braggioni's change of heart will only be temporary, still it is enough to perhaps show Braggioni is a character who is not entirely beyond redemption.

For the majority of the short story, however, he is presented as a grotesque, fat character who represents all that is bad about the revolutionary ideal gone wrong. In his figure the reader can identify all the corruption and cynicism of the revolutionary movement. Braggioni, the reader is told, is "cruel to everyone" and he "loves himself with such tenderness and amplitude." There is little in this caricature of a man that suggests anything other than a vain, self-obsessed, dangerous individual. It is only the ending that offers him any hope in terms of his character.

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Flowering Judas

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