San Manuel Bueno, Martyr

San Manuel Bueno, Martyr Imagery

"...with everyone together forming a mountain whose peak, lost in the clouds, was Don Manuel"

The imagery from this passage serves to fortify the role that Don Manuel plays as the priest of Valverde de Lucerna. With the villagers forming the base of the mountain and Don Manuel serving as its peak, Don Manuel is figuratively depicted as the head of the villagers, demonstrating his responsibility as the head and representative of the village. In addition, the fact that the mountain peak is "lost in the clouds" further reflects how Don Manuel's leadership is not only a social, but also a religious and spiritual one.

"It is snowing, snowing on the lake and on the mountain, snowing on the memories of my father... Snow as white as this paper unto which I transfer my consciousness"

In Angela's old age, she likens the falling snow to the passage of time, saying that the snow is falling not only on her surroundings but on her memories as well. As Angela grows older, the Valverde of Lucerna she knew is progressively covered up until only white remains, like a blank sheet of paper. This imagery reflects the transcience of the human experience; one's grasp and understanding of reality will only exist as long as one's memory and lifetime. The only way to immortalize one's experience is to write it down, to "transfer one's consciousness" onto paper as Angela has done in her memoir.

" his eyes there was the same deep blue as the waters of our lake."

For Don Manuel, the lake represents more than a body of water or a thing of beauty; it represents the village of Valverde de Lucerna itself. Later in the story, we learn that the lake serves as a great temptation towards suicide for Don Manuel. Knowing this, the fact that Don Manuel's eyes are the same deep blue as the lake is significant: not only does it reveal the temptation for suicide held within Don Manuel, it serves as an inseparable tie between Don Manuel and the village, reflecting the burden of his responsibility within Valverde de Lucerna.