Flowering Judas


Katherine Anne Porter

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The Silver Ammunition Belt Symbol Analysis

The Silver Ammunition Belt Symbol Icon

Nothing communicates the corrupt nature of the loathsome Braggioni like his silver ammunition belt, which he likes to show off to Laura. Once an impassioned revolutionary, Braggioni is now rich both in power and money, having grown fat and cynical. Although he brandishes the belt when speaking of the two parades, Catholic and Socialist, that are destined for collision, it is clear that the belt is largely for show. That Braggioni would wear an ammunition belt in combination with his expensive clothing and imported perfume also speaks to his vanity. Laura eventually calls him on his hypocrisy, handing him his belt and saying "Put that on, and go kill somebody in Morelia, and you will be happier." Of course, this seems unlikely, as Laura understands that the silver ammunition belt is really just for show, and Braggioni is all talk.

The belt also has biblical underpinnings: given the story’s frequent allusions to Judas Iscariot, the silver ammunition belt recalls Judas betraying Christ in exchange for thirty pieces of silver. Braggioni, too, has betrayed his ideals and the people under his power.

The Silver Ammunition Belt Quotes in Flowering Judas

The Flowering Judas quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Silver Ammunition Belt. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Idealism vs. Reality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harcourt edition of Flowering Judas published in 1979.
Flowering Judas Quotes

There will be two independent processions, starting from either end of town and they will march until they meet, and the rest depends…” He asks her to oil and load his pistols. Standing up, he unbuckles his ammunition belt, and spreads it laden across her knees. Laura sits with the shells slipping through the cleaning cloth dipped in oil, and he says again he cannot understand why she works so hard for the revolutionary idea unless she loves some man who is in it.

Related Characters: Braggioni (speaker), Laura
Related Symbols: The Silver Ammunition Belt
Page Number: 99-100
Explanation and Analysis:
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Flowering Judas PDF

The Silver Ammunition Belt Symbol Timeline in Flowering Judas

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Silver Ammunition Belt appears in Flowering Judas. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Flowering Judas
Idealism vs. Reality Theme Icon
Misogyny and Femininity  Theme Icon
...a diamond loop, yellow shoes with leather thongs, and silk pantaloons. He also wears a silver-encrusted ammunition belt as a reminder of his status among the revolutionaries. (full context)
Idealism vs. Reality Theme Icon
Religion vs. Politics Theme Icon
...one of the Catholics and one of the socialists honoring their martyrs. Braggioni displays his ammunition belt again and appears to welcome the violence he predicts. He recalls the past, when he... (full context)