The Two Deaths of Quincas Wateryell Summary

Jorge Amado


(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

The Two Deaths of Quincas Wateryell tells the story of Joaquim (or Quincas) Soares da Cunha, a respectable, middle-class man who left his nagging wife, his equally nagging daughter, his spineless son-in-law, and his job as a petty bureaucrat to become a rum-guzzling vagabond on the streets of Salvador, Bahia. His surname became Wateryell the day that he mistakenly drank water instead of his usual white rum and let out a yell of “Waaaaaaater!” that was heard for blocks. As the short novel opens, Quincas has died. His family is notified, as are his street cronies. The family, embarrassed that Quincas’s death may open up questions among family and friends concerning his life since his leaving home, comes to sit with the body in Quincas’s small room in the lower-class section of Salvador. Quincas’s street companions, four of the most colorful and comic characters to be found in Amado’s works, come to pay their respects and spell the family in their vigil. Soon after Quincas’s friends are alone with his body, they hear Quincas speak, prop him up in the casket, and begin to share drink with him. They soon decide that they should have one more night on the town together. Quincas and his friends head out to the streets and visit Quincas’s girlfriend. They later stop in a bar, where Quincas starts a fight. They finally make their way to a friend’s boat, where they get caught in a storm and Quincas, yelling out his last words, dives into the sea,...

(The entire section is 546 words.)

The Two Deaths of Quincas Wateryell Bibliography

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Brower, Keith H., Earl E. Fitz, and Enrique Martínez-Vidal, eds. Jorge Amado: New Critical Essays. New York: Routledge, 2001.

Chamberlain, Bobby J. Jorge Amado. Boston: Twayne, 1990.

Dinneen, Mark. “Change Versus Continuity: Popular Culture in the Novels of Jorge Amado.” In Fiction in the Portuguese-Speaking World: Essays in Memory of Alexandre Pinheiro Torres, edited by Charles M. Kelley. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2000.

Ellison, Fred P. Brazil’s New Novel: Four Northeastern Masters. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1954.

Fitz, Earl E. “Jorge Amado.” In Latin American Literature in the Twentieth Century: A Guide, edited by Leonard S. Klein. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1986.

Lowe, Elizabeth. “The ’New’ Jorge Amado.” Luso-Brazilian Review 6, no. 2 (1969): 73-82.

McDowell, Edwin. “Jorge Amado Dies at 88: Brazil’s Leading Novelist.” The New York Times, August 7, 2001, p. B7.

Nunes, Maria Luísa. “Jorge Amado.” In Dictionary of Brazilian Literature, edited by Irwin Stern. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1988.

Nunes, Maria Luísa. “The Preservation of African Culture in Brazilian Literature: The Novels of Jorge Amado.” Luso-Brazilian Review 10, no. 1 (1973): 86-101.