The Finale of Roberto Bolaos Amulet

The last few pages of Amulet reveal to the reader the ultimate symbolical significance of the amulet. Just as a typical good luck charm wards off evil, the amulet in Bolaos novel is a metaphor for the resistance against violence  both political and social - that ran rampant during the 1960s in Latin America.

Auxilio Lacouture, the heroine trapped for days in a bathroom at the National Autonomous University of Mexico was equally ensnared in an inundation of memories and dreams. At the end of the book, Auxilio had a vision of fantastic landscapes  where valleys led straight into the abyss (Bolao 180) and where mountain peaks seemed to form a kind of mirror with two sides (Bolao 182). In the midst of this bizarre backdrop, a spectacle appeared of a legion of young people on the march to somewhere (Bolao 181). Bolao described the children of Latin America as advancing like an army toward the abyss and inevitable death. They are depicted as linked not by a common goal, but only by their generosity and courage (Bolao 181). The amulet in this case, was the strength in numbers. This illustration was a seeming analogy of the united front put up by revolutionary students against the incursion of the Mexican Army. The security in numbers inspired them to fear neither persecution nor death. Auxilios dream continued with the outpouring of music. The children sang as they marched, oblivious to their mortality and even quite eager to sacrifice themselves. Auxilio, helpless to stop them, simply listened to their song. As they plunged into nothingness, their song of war and love (Bolao 184) endured, reverberating for others to hear. And that song is our amulet (Bolao 184).

As poetry became Auxilios constant source of strength during her 12-day seclusion, the song became the nations reminder that hostility and oppression can be defeated by generosity and courage. In the end, Bolao demonstrated that the amulet is not so much a warranty of immunity but the driving force that motivates us to action despite the odds.


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