story of chona
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The one semi-flashback to Pedro's time in this section echoes the theme through the story of Chona, who is encouraged by the man (probably don Fulgor) to leave her elderly father to die so she can exploit her youth and beauty. The complication, of course, comes from the fact that she is escaping a sexual exploitative situation by refusing to go with him, while at the same time, she commits the same sin as those of Comala – they refuse to move forward. The incestuous situation of Donis and his sister also echo this idea of stasis. Here, incest is a symbol of turning inward, refusing to let the outside world in, and indeed, this couple lives a depraved life devoid of any other human contact. Comala becomes a place where life has stopped, the air and heat do not circulate, and souls are left to mourn the past rather than anticipate the future. Even Juan, as he falls further into its quagmire, finds his mother can no longer see him.