Bandini Question #11 - Arturo's Roller Coaster

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Bandini Question #11 - Arturo's Roller Coaster

Unread postby Liz » Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:23 pm

Arturo had a cycle he couldn’t seem to escape from. He would commit sin, suffer from extreme guilt, and then go out and commit more sin. And the cycle would start again.

What do you think that says about Arturo and human nature?


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Unread postby Bermuda » Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:57 pm

Arturo was a normal human being with faults. We all have faults and sometimes spend our entire lifetime trying to correct those faults or imperfections in our personalities. We are sometimes successful in changing our bad habits, and at other times we just give up and say as the cartoon character "Popeye" would say, "I ams what I am; I'm "Popeye" the sailor man. In other words, this is who I am world.....take me as I am faults and all, or forget about it! :lol:
Last edited by Bermuda on Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Liz » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:05 pm

Well said, Bermuda. I'm no :angel: myself. I just got so frustrated with him, though, because he'd agonize over it so much. :banghead:
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Unread postby Parlez » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:52 pm

Hmmm...far be it from me to open a can of worms here, but I think a good part of the problem for Arturo was that the religious teaching he was receiving wasn't really making any sense to him. He wasn't taking it to heart, as it were, and it wasn't helping him really develop a conscience. He could mull over the various degrees of sin, for example, and not come up with anything more than a few bargaining points. He had been taught a very precise formula for assessing guilt, but it was an imposed formula - coming from the outside instead of from within - so it was pretty sketchy. Hence the emotional waffling between abject contrition and complete disregard. What Arturo seemed to be getting from the Church at that time was a lot of the dos-and-don'ts of the religion and not a lot of the reasonings behind the rules. I got the impression Arturo didn't understand his religion on a deep enough level to have it do him much good.
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:08 am

That’s quite astute of you, Parlez. I think you may be on to something. I think that might have been due to the mysterious aspect of the Catholic Church at the time. Back then masses were said in Latin. So I’m wondering if the teachings were just as obscure. But I don’t know, as I was not around back then. I will say, though, that when I was raised in the Catholic Church (1965-1973) catechism was taught in English, even though the Mass was still in Latin for most of that period. I think this also has to do with the times in which Arturo lived. I think it may only be in that last 30 years that parents and authority figures have felt it was important to give the reasoning behind the rules.
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Unread postby gemini » Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:19 am

Bermuda wrote:Arturo was a normal human being with faults. We all have faults and sometimes spend our entire lifetimes trying to correct those faults or imperfections in our personalities. We are sometimes successful in changing our bad habits, and at other times we just give up and say as the cartoon character "Popeye" would say, "I ams what I am; I'm "Popeye" the sailor man. In other words, this is who I am world.....take me as I am faults and all, or forget about it! :lol:


Bermuda, You wouldn't have Popeye the Sailer on your mind from listening to little Jacks singing debut? :thumbsup:
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Unread postby Bermuda » Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:21 am

gemini wrote:
Bermuda wrote:Arturo was a normal human being with faults. We all have faults and sometimes spend our entire lifetimes trying to correct those faults or imperfections in our personalities. We are sometimes successful in changing our bad habits, and at other times we just give up and say as the cartoon character "Popeye" would say, "I ams what I am; I'm "Popeye" the sailor man. In other words, this is who I am world.....take me as I am faults and all, or forget about it! :lol:


Bermuda, You wouldn't have Popeye the Sailer on your mind from listening to little Jacks singing debut? :thumbsup:
:ohyes: and wasn't he just adorable singing it?
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Unread postby magpie » Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:17 am

He bowed his head while the priest mumbled the Latin of absolution. That was all. Easy as pie. He left the Confessional and knelt in the church, his hands pressed over his heart. It thumped serenely. He was saved. . . . . . .Tonight after the banquet he would tell his mother the truth--that he had stolen her cameo and given it to Rosa. She would protest at first. But not for long. He knew his mother, and how to get things out of her.


I agree with Parlez that Arturo didn't seem to be developing a conscience. After confessing that he had stolen the cameo, he didn't feel any responsibility for his actions. It's as if he had completely forgotten the guilt he felt before confession. He almost immediately began plotting how he would manipulate his mother about it.
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:24 pm

Like all the rest of humanity, Arturo wasn't perfect and would fall back into sin no matter how hard he tried (yeah, like Popeye!). He feared purgatory, knew he'd have to put in some tough time there, but felt he could avoid hell by always getting to the confessional before death took him. I think he forgot that he truly had to be sorry for each sin and be determined not to commit it again for it to be forgiven, according to the Church. And, yes, I think the Church at that time was more "fire and brimstone" and not so much appealing to one's finer instincts. It was more authoritarian and depended on rote memorization of its lessons rather than a true understanding. I've heard priests of today say that having a great knowledge of the Bible means nothing unless it has a connection to the heart, so times have changed quite a bit. (No more nuns rapping knuckles, I hope!! :eyebrow:) Maybe the whole cameo incident could have been avoided if he didn't feel he could erase it all in the confessional. Or maybe he was so overcome with everything swirling around him at that difficult age that something like that was inevitable. :-?
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Unread postby nebraska » Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:30 pm

Liz wrote:That’s quite astute of you, Parlez. I think you may be on to something. I think that might have been due to the mysterious aspect of the Catholic Church at the time. Back then masses were said in Latin. So I’m wondering if the teachings were just as obscure. But I don’t know, as I was not around back then. I will say, though, that when I was raised in the Catholic Church (1965-1973) catechism was taught in English, even though the Mass was still in Latin for most of that period. I think this also has to do with the times in which Arturo lived. I think it may only be in that last 30 years that parents and authority figures have felt it was important to give the reasoning behind the rules.


I think we do children a disservice by feeling we need to give them a reason for what they are told to do. There is something to be said for obedience for the sake of obedience. Even as adults, when the police officer behind us turns on his red lights, we pull over ..there are some things you just DO....Following the rules is a useful skill to learn.

I was also raised in the Catholic Church and I remember having great confusion about degrees of sin and terror of punishment if I failed to recognize or confess/repent something I had done, even without knowing. So much of Arturo's thought patterns brought back childhood memories. :blush Confession is not just a Catholic Church thing, though, as even 12 step groups like AA have a requirement to "admit to ourselves, to God, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." So there must be something about saying it out loud to somebody else that has impact psychologically if we want to change.

Tiptoeing through the minefield here......: ...... I have a very churchy friend who has left her husband for another man (who is also happens to be married to someone else). Her twist on the situation from the religious viewpoint has me totally confused.. she says she is still "saved" but she doesn't feel right going to church while they are both still married to other people ..so apparently once you are "saved" you can do anything you want and it doesn't count... :-?...Quite the opposite of all this need for constant confessing. Humans are a funny bunch when it comes to organized religion!

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:15 pm

Betty Sue wrote: I think he forgot that he truly had to be sorry for each sin and be determined not to commit it again for it to be forgiven, according to the Church.


I get the impression that he didn’t totally get that part. But maybe that came with maturity (that will remain to be seen in ATD). As far as human nature, I think it might be hard, in certain areas, for people to keep from this cycle. He frustrated me so, when I’d see him commit what I thought were terrible acts, then experience what appeared to be this tremendous guilt, because he’d go on and on about it in his head. And then he’d go and commit another awful sin. I think it was also the type of sin he’d commit that was bothersome to me….. stealing, violence, torturing animals. But then I think of myself, and how I do the same thing in some areas of my life. It’s always the same type of sin I commit over and over again, no matter how remorseful I feel afterward. IMHO I think that it is human nature to sin, and I think each of us has our weak areas. But hopefully we don’t give up and that we try to work on those areas.
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:34 pm

nebraska wrote:
Liz wrote:That’s quite astute of you, Parlez. I think you may be on to something. I think that might have been due to the mysterious aspect of the Catholic Church at the time. Back then masses were said in Latin. So I’m wondering if the teachings were just as obscure. But I don’t know, as I was not around back then. I will say, though, that when I was raised in the Catholic Church (1965-1973) catechism was taught in English, even though the Mass was still in Latin for most of that period. I think this also has to do with the times in which Arturo lived. I think it may only be in that last 30 years that parents and authority figures have felt it was important to give the reasoning behind the rules.


I think we do children a disservice by feeling we need to give them a reason for what they are told to do. There is something to be said for obedience for the sake of obedience. Even as adults, when the police officer behind us turns on his red lights, we pull over ..there are some things you just DO....Following the rules is a useful skill to learn.

I was also raised in the Catholic Church and I remember having great confusion about degrees of sin and terror of punishment if I failed to recognize or confess/repent something I had done, even without knowing. So much of Arturo's thought patterns brought back childhood memories. :blush Confession is not just a Catholic Church thing, though, as even 12 step groups like AA have a requirement to "admit to ourselves, to God, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." So there must be something about saying it out loud to somebody else that has impact psychologically if we want to change.

Tiptoeing through the minefield here......: ...... I have a very churchy friend who has left her husband for another man (who is also happens to be married to someone else). Her twist on the situation from the religious viewpoint has me totally confused.. she says she is still "saved" but she doesn't feel right going to church while they are both still married to other people ..so apparently once you are "saved" you can do anything you want and it doesn't count... :-?...Quite the opposite of all this need for constant confessing. Humans are a funny bunch when it comes to organized religion!

.


As a child I was always terrified of the confrontation with the priest or the teacher or my parents or any authority figure…..scared to death. I would get ill over such confrontations, as I took the rules quite seriously. So in that sense, I would agree that having to confess to anyone can keep us on the straight and narrow.

But in the end, I grew up to be quite the rebel. I tend to see rules now as just guidelines, really. I grew up thinking everything was black and white. Now I see shades of grey.

Religion is another one of those grey areas for me. Some members take their religion seriously, maybe taking it to the extreme. Others use it wisely with a dose of common sense. And then others use it as a crutch or twist it to meet their individual circumstances. So in my mind, it still comes back to the individual, and the individual’s conscience and their god.
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:07 pm

Now that you mention it, Liz, the "big kick" he got out of torturing and killing animals was pretty scary :freaked: . He enjoyed killing blue bottle flies, muskrats, birds, chickens, prairie dogs, pigeons, pheasants and jack rabbits and had been "severe and often harsh" with his dogs. When he killed the chicken, he "watched the bird suffer with cold satisfaction." He also expressed a wish to kill a few people, but I'll give him the benefit of a doubt on whether he meant that one .... :yikes:
I agree, Liz, that we each have our favorite sins we repeat. And I'll go along with you, nebraska, (sounds like Liz does, too) that, "Humans are a funny bunch when it comes to organized religion!"
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:23 pm

Betty Sue wrote:Now that you mention it, Liz, the "big kick" he got out of torturing and killing animals was pretty scary :freaked: . He enjoyed killing blue bottle flies, muskrats, birds, chickens, prairie dogs, pigeons, pheasants and jack rabbits and had been "severe and often harsh" with his dogs. When he killed the chicken, he "watched the bird suffer with cold satisfaction." He also expressed a wish to kill a few people, but I'll give him the benefit of a doubt on whether he meant that one .... :yikes:
I agree, Liz, that we each have our favorite sins we repeat. And I'll go along with you, nebraska, (sounds like Liz does, too) that, "Humans are a funny bunch when it comes to organized religion!"


To each his own.... :chill:

And I had forgotten just how tortuous Arturo was to animals. :mad:
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Unread postby stroch » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:46 pm

Oops. I think I posted the answer to this question in my response to the cameo question, but you all have brought out the same points--Arturo did not get the concept of repentance.

To me, he is just an awful person. I do feel sympathy for his unhappiness and for the miserable circumstances of his life, but I think he is just mean and cruel. His ups and downs seem more abnormal psychology that adolescent angst.

As for religion, little kids like to have rules and structure, because it helps them feel safe. Just look at kids games--a lot of the play is about the "rules."

Developmentally, at adolescence, questioning of faith and belief systems is normal, but I don't see Arturo doing that. His faith is more superstition and fantasy.

I never did think about the focus of the Catholic Church in the 30's. I'm going to try to find out, and if I do, will report back.

This answer is all over the map; sorry.
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