Is Change a Positive or Negative Outcome?
Although progress can be a negative effect to many, it may prove beneficial if done correctly. I believe that modernization is a beneficial thing as a whole to society because it focus' on the "good". Surprisingly, I also believe that we should embrace and try to keep traditions at root. Meaning we should try to apply our traditions handy while transitioning into modernization. In the novel by Frank Waters “People of the Valley”, the author tries to communicate to his readers that new customs are good but one must keep the old ways. There is a reason history is "history." We should try to move on and not repeat the lousy mistakes, but rather have a positive change for the people; which is why progress is good as long as we still have our traditions at root.
Maria is the main character of the novel. Throughout the novel it is seen how she transitions into different stages of her life. Maria has been in the beautiful blue valley since birth and has become the valley itself, which is why people call her, “Maria of the Valley”. Since birth to elderly women, she is seen how she overcomes and deals with change. She is trusted because of her trust in the Earth. Like the Earth, she accepts all and everything that comes to her. Whether it is questioners, lovers or husbands, and children and takes it as a lesson to move on. It is quite remarkable how Maria deals with change and transitions through it fast embracing the moment. It is because of her long living life and learning experiences that she is seen as the wise women.
In this novel, Maria is a symbol for old traditions. People began to call her Dona Maria, “So her name grew and her power. She was tolerated with fustian phrases, hated in whispers, and respected silently”(Waters, 93). Maria had it all in one: courage, repelling, wisdom, and comfort. This is turn is why people had different opinions of her. When the talk of the Dam comes out, the people of the valley turned to her for her opinions and advice, “The election came. People waited to hear Maria’s opinion. Some went to her” (Waters, 129). The people viewed her as an institution because she knows the secrets and the cures due to the fact that she has lived both periods of fruitfulness as well as, flooding. It is clearly stated that Maria will not vote for the dam and does not believe in progress, “Maria believed in fulfillment instead of progress. Fulfillment is individual evolution. It requires time and patience. Progress is haste to move mass, admits neither” (Waters, 134). She is against modernization and believes that all in the valley is well and needs no progress. Since the people see Maria as an institution, she has followers and shares her distrust and denial towards the dam, preventing the people to vote for change.
The dam and the new machines in this novel is a representation of modern change. The government wants to build something new that will benefit both parties, “…that there will be no more floods to sweep canon and valley with death and destruction, that there…