Gabriel García Márquez

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Why is Aurelio from "One of These Days" considered a fully developed character?

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In Gabriel García Márquez’s short story “One of These Days,” the protagonist Aurelio Escovar first appears to be a flat and undeveloped character; through the course of his actions, however, he is revealed to be a round or fully developed character. A fully developed character is one that is multi-dimensional, complex, and deep as an individual.

Through direct characterization, Márquez establishes Aurelio Escovar as an “erect and skinny” poor dentist with a decrepit office. Through indirect characterization, Márquez reveals with Aurelio’s actions and speech that this dentist “without a degree” is hardworking (“a very early riser”), meticulous in preparing his office, conservative in dress, and focused on his work. He is almost like an automaton, seeming “not to be thinking about what he was doing, but work[ing] steadily, pumping the drill with his feet, even when he didn’t need it.” He also is obviously angry with his town’s mayor, whom he tries to avoid treating by telling his son to lie for him.

When the mayor threatens him, though, Aurelio becomes a rounder and more full developed character. Despite being threatened with death, he still works calmly without changing his expression or hurrying his actions. When the mayor forces the dentist to treat him, Aurelio remains calm and (unbeknownst to the mayor) packs his own revolver. He reveals a bit of his own cruelty and abuse of power by extracting the mayor’s rotten tooth without anesthesia. Aurelio remains impassive and seemingly unsympathetic when he pulls the tooth and causes the mayor to experience excruciating pain. After he completes the extraction, “without rancor, rather with a bitter tenderness” the dentist tells the mayor, "Now you'll pay for our twenty dead men." His style of speaking conveys no overt anger, only a mixture of enmity and sad compassion. His spoken words, however, show satisfaction of vengeance toward the mayor. Aurelio’s cruel treatment of the mayor is motivated by his anger over the mayor’s corruption and abuse of power.

Initially, Aurelio seems to be a flat character, but his feelings and actions of revenge reveal a deeper dimension. Also, he illustrates admirable reserves of control; he remains professional in manner despite his desire and power to hurt the mayor. Still waters run deep; Aurelio started off as a “still” or flat character, but his fully developed character actually runs deep.

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