Have you ever felt unsure about a topic? That is how I felt at first when I read “The Blind Faith of the One-Eyed Matador” by Karen Russell. I felt that bullfighting was simply cruel, but then I understood the culture behind it. The more I continued reading I understood the love and passion that Juan Padilla had for the sport. It seems crazy that what you love to do could almost cost you your life, and no matter the consequences you’re not willing to give it up. Although many people may agree bullfighting is a cruel sport, being a bullfighter is a part of culture, passed on through generations, and there is a passion behind it.
The story takes place in Spain and begins with Padilla fighting a bull at the Feris del Pilar and the worst imaginable incident happens; Padilla gets injured by the bull. Russell then discusses the process Juan Jose Padilla goes through of making a comeback after his horrendous accident; that leaves him partially blind. ...view middle of the document...
Her stating this helps give bullfighting of what an important tradition it has become. She also quotes Padilla “The fiesta unites the nation” (377). Traditions play a big part of culture for instance fiestas bring families and communities together.
In addition, Russell talks about bullfighting being passed on through a generation. She mentions Pepe, Padilla’s father who was a novillero (a young bullfighter who has not yet been named a matador) as a teenager, and wanting his son to become a bullfighter. She states “Pepe Padilla has raised three toreros” and mentions how he dedicated himself to coaching them. As if, his father took pride to teach his children the skills and the art of bullfighting.
Next, Russell expresses the passion Juan Jose Padilla has for bullfighting; the eagerness he has to torear. Padilla awakens after the horrendous incident and tells his manager not to cancel any of his fights. She quotes Padilla “I have no rancor towards this bull or my profession” (376). When I read this, it surprised that he did not have any anger towards the bull that almost took his life, but then it indicated to me that he truly loves his profession. Even after being told it would be unlikely for Padilla to make a comeback. He ignores the surgeon’s diagnosis, and has the surgery to regain partial movement. Three and half months after the incident he begins training.
In addition, Russell mentions Padilla’s father always knew his son had extraordinary talent; he has “Cojones!” (379). Such as, Juan Jose Padilla having the courage to overcome what someone else may call an obstacle or a fear. She quotes Pepe “he was born to do this” (378). She continues to show how Padilla’s father expresses the love and talent his son had at such a young age and about the daring moves that many other matadors didn’t dare to do.
Finally, this essay shows another side of bullfighting. It shows the love a bullfighter has for the sport. The perseverance he had to return to the ring and go head to head with a bull. The significance of the tradition it has to the people of Spain. I admire his passion and I see it as a triumph; maybe you see it as egotism. However, you do have to admire the love he has for bullfighting.