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Flowering Judas By Porter Essay Research Paper

Flowering Judas By Porter Essay, Research Paper

There are many theories on the significance of dreams and there is no definitive

encyclopedia on their meanings. The ability to have one dream that is so bizarre

and fantasy like and the next seem so real that it is hard to tell if it really

happened or not, is quite amazing. One theory is that dreams reflect not only

daily events and stresses, but also deep hidden fears and desires. It is the way

the psyche copes and releases intense emotions, especially the ones most deeply

repressed and denied. Katherine Anne Porter relates this phenomenon superbly in

?Flowering Judas.? Her complicated writing style mimics the way the main

character, Laura, utilizes daily defense mechanisms to avoid having any personal

connection with anybody, including herself Porter clearly feels that this type

of severe emotional suppression is unhealthy and detrimental to ones emotional

state. It only furthers alienation from society, the opposite sex and self, all

of which go against the nature of humans being social and emotional creatures.

This unhealthy psychological repression must have some outlet, which comes

inevitably in the enigmatic dream sequence. Porter shows that practicing

self-detachment leads to insecurity and lack of purpose outside of maintaining

this position. The constant struggle to suppress internal rage and personal

opinions is away to maintain safety. The exposure of real feelings makes one

vulnerable and because of this Laura keeps everything inside. She subconsciously

dresses in heavy nun-like clothes to help hide and keep contained her real

feelings and opinions. She also has a pervading sense of danger and disaster on

a daily basis and no sense of direction in her life. The suffocation of feelings

is so complete that she has no idea of what exactly she is feeling or why she is

there. The only comfort she has is her ability to maintain her walls and feel

safe. Her comfort is in knowing she is safe because her inner thoughts and

feelings are unexposed. Porter demonstrates that the severity of the

preoccupation to avoid societal attachments is a very lonely and difficult path

that only adds to further internal turmoil. The desire to remain emotionally

isolated while having a very active role in the community is extremely

contradictory, especially in the tumultuous surroundings the character chooses

to live. She is a teacher, a political contact to many people and makes daily

visits to political prisoners. Yet, she feels uncomfortable in the world around

her, like a warped puzzle piece. There is no personal attachment or even

commradery with who she is in contact, not on her part anyway. There is no talk

of home or family and she has no desire to go anywhere else. She wants to remain

isolated in her daily encounters with society because it is the only familiarity

that she has with life, her loneliness and separateness among the masses. This

allows her to continue fortifying her internal walls and defenses and this is

how she is accustomed to maintaining her safety in isolation. Porter reveals

that the supreme denial of the opposite sex strongly goes against natural human

instincts and leads to much deep-rooted turmoil and alienation. This driving

force behind Laura?s desire to be alone stems from her primary instinct to

avoid any type of personal contact with men physically or mentally. The thought

of being on the same mental meeting ground with a man, let alone having any sort

of physical contact causes her severe mental distress and physical pain. A

torturous death is more appealing then to allow this type of connection to

occur. Even though she feels this way, she subjects herself to male company more

than to any other type. The dutiful pleasantness outwardly presented to male

company is a complete contradiction with the internal struggle to contain

intense rage and fear of men. The male issues are exposed in the dream when for

the first time Laura?s true emotions are revealed and a satiating experience

is had between her and a symbolic male. This dream, of course, is a nightmare

for her. She wakes screaming and does not want to go back to sleep for fear that

all she strives to maintain in her stance against men will dissipate in the

dream state, which she cannot control. In dreams there is freedom from daily

restraints. Emotions are able to flow free and are a key to dealing with

personal issues. ?Flowering Judas? shows that severely psychologically

repressed people are able to release their hidden emotions in dreams but once

awake, they remember the dream as a nightmare. This extreme emotional

suppression is a very sad and lonely state to have for there is no freedom or

pleasure at any moment in life, which goes against the natural laws of human