Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
The Altamira ranch is a vast estate in the wildest section of the Arauca River basin of Venezuela, a ranch that was established early in the history of the country’s cattle business. Late in the nineteenth century, it was divided into two parts by one of the owners’ joint heirs. One part of the ranch kept the old name and went to the male heir of the Luzardo family. The other part went to a daughter who married a Barquero, and it took on the name from the new owner. As the years went by, the two families carried on a feud that killed most of the men on both sides. During the Spanish-American War, the owner of Altamira quarreled with his elder son and killed him; he then starved himself to death. His wife, Doña Luzardo, took her only remaining son to Caracas to rear him in a more civilized atmosphere.
Years go by. Finally the son, Santos Luzardo, decides to sell the ranch, which was allowed to deteriorate under irresponsible overseers. The young man goes into the back country to see the place for himself and to determine what it might be worth. On his arrival, he finds that the neighboring ranch of the Barqueros fell into the hands of Doña Bárbara, a mestiza who was the mistress of the real owner before she ran him off his property. Doña Bárbara is in the process of taking over the Altamira ranch as well, with the help of several henchmen, including Don Balbino, the ranch’s overseer. Santos decides to keep the ranch and try to make it prosperous...
(The entire section is 1111 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Doña Bárbara Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!