Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Don Dionisio

Don Dionisio (dee-oh-NEE-see-oh), a parish priest who gives unity to the separate chapters describing the people and festivals of a small Mexican town. He is stern and upright, yet understanding and compassionate. He can combine the best of the contrasting philosophies of his two priestly associates.

Padre Reyes

Padre Reyes (RREH-yehs), his liberal and progressive assistant. He enjoys seeing the parishioners marry and shocks Padre Islas with his earthy talk. He has advanced ideas about such things as the value of life insurance, though he cannot convince any of the town of its value.

Padre Islas

Padre Islas (EES-lahs), Don Dionisio’s narrow-minded and unbelievably conservative associate. Unable to meet the townspeople on a personal basis, he scurries along the sunbaked streets with eyes averted. As the sponsor of the church organization for unmarried girls, he exerts tremendous influence on the community by urging the girls to stay pure by remaining single, and he threatens them with damnation for even wholesome thoughts about the men of the town. After achieving a reputation for saintliness, he ends up in an epileptic fit on the church floor, after which he is separated from the priesthood.


María, an orphan niece of Don Dionisio who rebels against the drab life of the community and secretly reads newspapers from Mexico and the...

(The entire section is 635 words.)


(Great Characters in Literature)

Brushwood, John S. The Spanish American Novel: A Twentieth-Century Survey. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1975. Situates Yáñez’s novel in the nineteenth century by discussing the major characteristics and innovations of fiction. Analyzes the contribution of The Edge of the Storm to Spanish American literature.

Langford, Walter M. The Mexican Novel Comes of Age. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1971. Explains why the publication of The Edge of the Storm marks a significant accomplishment in the development of the Mexican novel. Discusses the structure of Yáñez’s work.

Lindstrom, Naomi. Twentieth-Century Spanish American Fiction. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994. Defines the continuities that link the different periods in modern Spanish American literature. Discusses significant elements in The Edge of the Storm.

O’Neill, Samuel J. “Interior Monologue in ‘Al filo del agua.’” Hispania 51 (1968): 447-455. Presents the psychological technique involving the stream of consciousness. Gives a fascinating interpretation of Yáñez’s portrayal of the inhabitants living in a small isolated town.

Sommers, Joseph. After the Storm: Landmarks of the Modern Mexican Novel. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1968. Evaluates the significance of Yáñez’s work in the history of the novel. Furnishes an informative commentary on the novelist’s epoch.