Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Ana Ozores

Ana Ozores (oh-SOH-rehs), the judge’s wife. She is a beautiful, sensitive woman of twenty-seven who has endured eight years of a childless marriage. A tireless reader of mystical and romantic literature, she longs to escape the suffocating world of the provincial capital in which she lives, the imaginary city of Vetusta. Her fabled virtue as a model wife is imperiled as she finds herself alternately torn between the promise of sexual fulfillment offered by the libertine Don Alvaro and the hope of spiritual communion with the priest Fermín de Pas. Ultimately, she succumbs to an adulterous affair with the former, which concludes with her husband’s death and her own complete ostracism by the community.

Victor Quintanar

Victor Quintanar (keen-tah-NAHR), the chief stipendiary magistrate of the provincial court, now retired. Already in his fifties, he behaves more as a father than as a husband to his young wife, Ana. He encourages the nervous Ana to socialize more and thus inadvertently propels her into the arms of another man. Among his passions are hunting, fencing, and the reading of Spanish seventeenth century honor plays. When cuckolded, he is ironically unable to commit the murderous vengeance prescribed by the literature he so avidly consumes. He demands a duel of Alvaro but is killed unheroically by a single shot that ruptures his bladder.

Fermín de Pas

Fermín de Pas (fehr-MEEN deh pahs), a canon theologian and vicar-general of the Diocese of Vetusta. He is, at thirty-five years of age, a man of superior intelligence, physical strength, and worldliness. Once a lowly cowherd, he has risen to the position of the most powerful churchman in his city and as such is an object of both admiration and envy. As Ana’s new confessor, he initially views her as a kindred soul, spiritually superior to the mediocrity of Vetusta; later, he falls prey to a purely human love based on his physical attraction to her.

Alvaro Mesía

Alvaro Mesía (AHL-vah-roh meh-

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La Regenta The Characters

(Literary Essentials: World Fiction)

The first half of this seven-hundred-page novel, which covers only the first three days of the story’s three years, is devoted to the presentation of the four central characters and a portrayal of Vetusta and its inhabitants. Although the narrator’s point of view is omniscient, the characterization of Ana Ozores, Fermin de Pas, Alvaro Mesias, and Victor Quitanar is developed almost entirely through the characters’ self-awareness, through their own perspectives on their existence.

In the first volume of the novel, Ana reflects on her childhood, a time when she had the energy to resist the influence of the cold, unfeeling, capricious people who took care of her. Now, trapped in the same kind of environment, she fears that she is no longer able to survive. She longs for the fulfillment of love and for the experience of bearing a child, longings that intensify her attraction to Alvaro, in spite of her strict belief in morality and marital fidelity. Ana also develops an intense attraction to Fermin as her spiritual counselor. Her inner conflict grows as she is torn between her sensual desires and her self-image as a devout, pious sister of the Church, devoted to her husband.

Fermin de Pas also reflects on his youth and his close relationship to his mother, who sacrificed her own happiness to help him fulfill his strong ambitions in the Church. His sudden awareness of his attraction to Ana creates in him a moral and political dilemma. He must...

(The entire section is 498 words.)

La Regenta Bibliography

(Great Characters in Literature)

Durand, Frank. “Characterization in La Regenta: Point of View and Theme,” in Bulletin of Hispanic Studies. XLI (1964), pp. 86-100.

Durand, Frank. “Leopoldo Alas, ‘Clarin’: Consistency of Outlook as Critic and Novelist,” in Romanic Review. XLI (February, 1965), pp. 37-49.

Durand, Frank. “Structural Unity in Leopoldo Alas’ La Regenta,” in Hispanic Review. XXXI (October, 1963), pp. 324-335.

Rutherford, John. Introduction to La Regenta, 1984. Translated by John Rutherford.

Schyfter, Sara E. “‘La loca, la tonta, la literata’: Woman’s Destiny in Clarin’s La Regenta,” in Theory and Practice of Feminist Literary Criticism, 1982. Edited by Gabriela Mora and Karen S. Van Hooft.

Valis, Noel M. The Decadent Vision in Leopolda Alas, 1981.

Valis, Noel M. “Order and Meaning in Clarin’s La Regenta,” in Novel. XVI (Spring, 1983), pp. 246-258.