The characters in Coronation may be classified as those who experience inner anguish and undergo a significant change, and those who represent a prototype and serve to enhance the definition of the principal characters. The protagonist, Andrés Abalos, embodies the emasculated figure so prevalent in Donoso’s work, who, aware of his inability to exert power over his life, translates that lack into a search for existential meaning and the creation of a fictional world to alleviate his suffering. Andrés is driven by two obsessions, sexuality and death. He fears both because they constitute an unattainable escape. The rebirth of his dormant sensuality together with the overriding morbidity of his grandmother’s house drive him to seek refuge in his fantasy world of Omsk. Here he finds a faith in the harmony of life that he knows to be an impossibility for him. Unable to express his feelings or have them understood, Andrés escapes into a fulfilling madness.
The secondary characters of Mario and Misiá Elisa find justification in the novel as foils for the protagonist, Andrés. Like Andrés, Mario is oppressed by the social determinism that threatens to thwart his dreams. Mario, the Don Juan of his circle of friends, falls in love with Estela, only to find that the idyllic encounter leads to entrapment when she becomes pregnant and he loses his job. Mario acts on the desire that Andrés represses, yet he, too, finds reality unsatisfactory....
(The entire section is 440 words.)