The Family of Pascual Duarte was the first novel of Camilo Jose Cela, one of the most important writers of the postwar period, to which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. This work, along with The Hive is among the best of his literary production.
The work is presented as the confession of a condemned man. The offender is Pascual Duarte, a peasant who has committed several murders including that of his own mother. He confesses his sins in an autobiography to explain publicly his conduct. Tries to justify not only to explain why he committed these crimes.
Pascual Duarte begins his story by explaining the social conditions of their existence with this wonderful paragraph: I, sir, I'm not bad, but not be wanting me reason to be. These leathers have all fatal birth and yet, when we grow, the destination is pleased as if we vary our wax and destination by different paths to the same end: death.
One of the most interesting aspects of The Family of Pascual Duarte is its structure: it begins with a note by the writer in which we are informed that someone has found a manuscript and has decided to publish it. Next comes a letter from the Easter explaining why the original command of his memoirs of a stranger. In third place is a clause in the will of this stranger asking that this manuscript be burned. Within the structure of the work include the prolepsis, because since the beginning of the work we know what will happen.
And finally comes the story itself, the memories of Pascual Duarte: his childhood, his family, his youth, his work as a peasant, his people, domestic violence that leads to fights, to kill animals and finally people. It reflects the climate of oppression and backwardness that is subject to post-war Spain.
The character of the mother is very successful. From the outset, we face full of flaws: poor wife, madam, argumentative, dirty, drunk, without showing your child never the slightest love. He feels a tremendous hatred towards her, because she sees all the calamities of his life in his mother's encrypted, it is the source of his life, the culprit coming into the world.
The Family of Pascual Duarte is an impressive work, sometimes gruesome, has led to a postwar literary movement called alarmism. It is the story of a man who has known only misery and suffering. Born into a poor family, grew up in a transverse ignorance, turned violent and hateful and just become one matricide.