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The book So Far From God illustrates several aspects of spirituality and emotional restrains which makes it very difficult to focus on just one point. Several characters are active in several activities occurring at the same time and very few characters are engaged in just same types of pursuit throughout the book. The character of Don Domingo, which I will be talking about in this paper, for example, has gone wild with his addiction towards gambling to fulfil the greed he has of making more money then he ever has.
This character seemed the most focused of all as only thing he thinks about is, even thought it may be unethical, different ways to make money. At the beginning of the story, Ana Castillo tells us that Don Domingo was too much into gambling and he actually gave up his wife for that reason. Upon realizing his mistake, Domingo returns back to his wife and daughters hoping that everything will be same as it used to be and tries to give up gambling.
But due to the continuos involvement with spiritual activities of his daughters, Domingo slides back into gambling, even though he did make a little fortune which would not really help improve his relationship with his daughters or even his own wife. Even though he was not totally dedicated to gambling, he started to gamble lowly, in small cockfights, but ended up loosing up everything his family was dependent upon. When the story takes off in the beginning, we get introduced to Don Domingo who, despite everybody’s opposition, gets married to Sophia who actually ran away with him.
Several of Sofia’s friends and relatives thought that Don Domingo was not a good man for her, including her grandfather who refused to bless the young lovers, her own father refused to let Domingo step foot in his house, her favorite teacher in high school teacher, who always praised Sofia’s common sense and intelligence and even the priest that refused to marry the couple in the church. Nobody thought Domingo would make up as a good husband because of the fact that he loved to gamble. It was in his blood and that’s one thing he did all the time after Sofi ran away with him and they both got married.
As we read towards the end of the book, we find out that the land and the house, which Sofi and Domingo were living in, were inherited by Sofi from his parents who got it from Sofi’s grandparents. Domingo started betting on Sofi’s land since he had already spent all his money in his hobby and had no more of his own money to bet left. Sofi got really irritated by this and actually told Domingo to leave before he brings his family on streets as they had only a little left of what was given to her by her parents.
On this, Domingo left his wife and his four little daughters, to fulfill his hobby without anybody’s interference and he did not return until after a long time. Throughout the book, even though it’s not very clear on exactly how many years did Domingo and Sofi stayed apart, but at one point Ana Castillo mentions that it had been about twenty years since the couple had stayed apart. After twenty years of absence and over thirty-five years of their marriage, finally Domingo realizes that he had made a mistake leaving his wife and daughters for gambling and he only belonged with his family.
He finally returns to his family, which was really ironic because he just opened the door and walked in as if nothing had happened at all. There was not any kind of emotional diversity on anybody’s face, not even Sofi, who had gone twenty years without this man trying to “hang in there” and raise her daughters. Domingo himself did not procure any sort of passion from or towards his family. It seemed that either nobody cared about this shift or they just took it as granted and since they could not have changed it anyway, why worry about it.
Since Domingo’s return, even though we never get a clear picture of what had gone through Domingo’s life during his absence, we are introduced to a different side of Domingo. This ‘new’ Domingo is not much different then the same old one, except, for now, he does not gamble and instead just sits there watching the TV all the time. He never helped Sofi in her household work or any of her other non-household works. Even though he was living beneath the same roof, he seemed like a total stranger from his family who would just do as instructed and would be in front of the TV at other times.
But the good part of this is that he had not, or at least not yet, fallen back into the longing hands of gambling. He experiences, what he had only heard about, the spiritual involvement that his daughters consistently displayed on several occasions. Once you are hooked to gambling, there is no safe way out and you are pretty much on it forever. This really seemed true with Sofi’s husband, who had gambling in his blood, when he saw the opportunity to make his bets when something ‘spiritual’ would happen to his daughters.
When Caridad saw her horse leading a herd of one hundred and thirteen horses along a creek, Domingo immediately called his brother in Chicago and made him play the state lottery with that number. Same night, he received a phone call from his brother who said he had won eighty dollars on that number. This encouraged Domingo to start betting few bucks here and there and since then he actually insisted on feeding his daughter and would stay with her most of the time, hoping that she would reveal another lucky number somehow, which never happened for a week, after which Domingo gave up went back to old ways.
After few days, Caridad’s favorite horse Corazon took off to Tome, from Caridad’s place, and somehow, it had broken it’s hoof when he jumped over the cattle guard. The sheriff’s deputy found the horse lying and seeing the horse in that condition, they shot him and the horse died. Upon hearing this news, Domingo quickly asked if anybody had gotten the license plate number of the deputy’s car who had gone to Caridad’s trailer. When La Loca mentioned it was “M92183”, he immediately called his brother and asked him to play the Illinois State “Big Lotto” for him.
Obviously, with his luck of having two daughters with unusual dons, he won the big state lottery as well. After the two incidents where he did make money, Domingo really went off and started to bet money in the cockfights and other similar ways to waste money. His bets started growing bigger and bigger each and every day. All of a sudden Sofi was notified by the bank that her home, which was made out of mud and straw and stucco and had bricks in some places, along with the one acre of land next to her home, which was kept for La Loca’s horses, was transferred over to a Judge named Julano.
On inquiring, Sofia found out that it was her husband, Domingo, that had lost her home, which had been passed on to her since her grandparents, on a measly cockfight. Upon finding this, Sofia went up to the Judge and talked with him that if those gallo fights were illegal, how could the possession of the house, by the judge, could be legal. On this, the judge did not really helped Sofia, but since he did not like the property he had that much, he let Sofia live there for a modest rent.
This behavior of Domingo really ticked Sophia off and she was off to file a divorce between her and her husband. Domingo must have seen that this was going to happen, and he had no choice but to do as he was told and just left. However, Sofi did not just throw him out on the streets either, she let him live at Caridad’s place that Domingo himself had built with his own hands, which Caridad never got to live in, and had to pay the same amount of rent that Sofi was paying to the judge.
Domingo represents a man that does not worry at all about his responsibilities and would rather do things his way then follow an intelligent women with more common sense then himself. He left his wife all by herself who raised all four of her daughters all by herself with no help from anybody else but the faith in herself. The fact that Domingo left his wife for gambling, and no other obvious reason, proves that he was a very selfish person and always seemed to find opportunities to make money, even though it might be on the verge of somebody’s, including his own daughter’s, death or such other incident.