Lencho is the protagonist of the story ‘A Letter to God‘ by G.L. Fuentes. This is the first chapter in the class 10th English First Flight. Academician argues Lencho as spiritual person but Lencho was a spiritual man? I Doubt.
One of my professional mentor once said, “Poetry and literary analysis is an intellectual debris.” This is true in many cases. Review is our personal approach and real character is an author’s creativity.
I cannot ignore the notion of the characterization that is being portrayed to students through multiple channels. Students, in specific, cannot think at an intellectual level. His approach is imitated from the approach of teacher.
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It could be a surprise knowing the term spiritual did not appear in the entire text of A Letter to God. How much can we validate the question of spiritual nature of Lencho?
These aren’t raindrops falling from the sky, they are new coins. The big drops are ten cent pieces and the little ones are fives.’’
Read these lines from the text, it will signal Lencho’s expectations. He is an ordinary man with a concern for his family. When strong winds started blowing & large hailstorm began to fall, his joy changed into grief. “It is really getting bad now” – showed his fear.
When hailstorm destroyed everything and he found nobody to help him through out the year, God was his last refuge. Finally he wrote a letter to God for help.
Review of Lencho’s Character
“Lencho has been portrayed as a deeply spiritual man” – as stated by brainly.in.
“Lencho has been depicted as a true spiritual man.” – as stated by EnglishFi
But is it really so?
There is no uniform definition of spirituality. This is faith specific. Someone considers soul as a spiritual part of human while another rejects soul as an entity.
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We cannot read this chapter from spiritual point of view. Concept building about spirituality among students by sharing the story of Lencho’s faith in God can be misleading.
When he saw raindrops first time, he saw coins in those water droplets. He did not thank God for timely rainfall. When hailstorm destroyed everything, he looked people for help. When he found nobody, he remembered God. That is why I called God as his last refuse.
Why can’t we say that God is his helplessness not faith? In Indian theology, expectations, desires and lust is always considered as obstacles for a spiritual person. Is expectation and desire absent in Lencho? If answer is in negation, than Lencho is not a spiritual person.
Postmaster and his employees, after reading the letter, collected money, put money in an envelope (They only collected 70 pesos irrespective of 100 pesos) and sent to Lencho.
When Lencho received the envelope, he became angry after counting the money. He wrote another letter and stated, “God: Of the money that I asked for, only seventy pesos reached me. Send me the rest, since I need it very much. But don’t send it to me through the mail because the post office employees are a bunch of crooks. Lencho.”
Initially forget about Lencho and read the story from Post-Office staff point of view. They have made the same mistake what potentially our students will do in future after reading this story as a story of faith.
Post office staff would found themselves exploited and humiliated. They can be fools but not a bunch of Crookes. Indirectly we are making students fools when we depict Lencho as a spiritual person with the so-called immense trust in God.
Spiritual person is full of gratitude towards nature. He has a sense of seeking. He is away from complaints and worries. If i would consider his trust true to God, he must show gratitude for 70 pesos also.
Being an academician itself, I never promoted or taught Lencho as a spiritual person. G.L. Fuentes is giving warning about pseudo spiritual notions. Lencho is not a spiritual person and i strongly objected his description in various references as spiritual person or a person of faith for God. You can comment if you are not agree with me.