In Katherine Anne Porter’s “Maria Concepcion”, the explicit story diminishes in importance as one examines the implicit meanings. While it is often hard to explain the actions of the characters in the story, if one examines some core themes implicitly lain throughout the story these actions begin to become clear. There are definite parental overtones in the actions of the supporting characters (the townsfolk and Givens). These parental overtones are supplemented by the presence of religion and its moral obligations and supportive nature primarily in Maria Concepcion, but also in Juan and the townsfolk. With all the supportive helpful forces found in the parental and religious aspects, the destructive force is represented in the sexual desires of the main characters. All of these forces and overtones are feeding into the power of the characters. The examination of source and use of power in the different characters has an intricate part in the shaping of “Maria Concepcion” as a story.
Givens, the head of the dig site, is the prime example of protecti
Lupe"tms will to protect Maria Concepcion is a mix of the townsfolk"tms and her own selfish reasons. Through his wisdom he grew wealthy, but it is also said of wisdom, "A wise man has great power and a man of knowledge increases strength" (Proverbs 24:5). If a marriage that was held in the church is vulnerable to failure, what hope do the women of the village (who were married in the back of the church) have to succeed This worry is what incited the townsfolk to use their protective power. With his wisdom comes the power to aid Juan, and with money comes the status to do so. It is less direct, and aimed at Juan. Givens warns Juan, "She"tmll catch you yet, and God help you" (8). Lupe also pities Maria Concepcion because she lost her husband to a whore, but also feels a sense of hurt because the whore . With everyone supporting Maria Concepcion, the gendarmes had no means to accuse her. They are present to witness Maria Concepcion"tms emotional journey while Juan runs off with Maria. She herself notes that Givens does not take shame in the fact that he must prepare his own food. " He is a rich man with no family of his own, yet he has taken on a parental role to the villagers he employs. The moral and social conscience causes the women to sympathize with Maria Concepcion at Maria Rosa"tms murder. Other protective power is represented in the townsfolk.