The most developed character, and the only one to experience any degree of change, is Jaime, whose personality is vividly revealed through the actions that characterize his personal rebellion. The reader watches Jaime develop from lonely child, to rebellious adolescent, to conforming young adult. Though he evokes the sympathy of the reader at the outset, his consistently self-centered actions gradually cause him to lose that sympathy. While the reader is able to understand the principle behind the boy’s bizarre communion with the Christ figure, later actions, particularly his refusal to approach his mother and his ostentatious martyrdom, make the reader realize that he is posturing in his behavior as much as the other members of his family.
Asunción and Jorge are the chief antagonists in the story. Though not nearly as well developed as Jaime, both are presented as individual human beings rather than stereotypes. While Asunción is masterfully portrayed as the scheming, domineering woman of the family, it is Jorge who is the more interesting of the pair. In fact, Jorge is almost comic in his role as the personification of the hypocritical society with which he seems to have a symbiotic relationship. Revealed throughout the work as a man obsessed with himself (“He only loved Jorge Balcárcel”), it is fitting that when he is spotted dancing in the brothel, he is not dancing with a partner but with himself.
Behind the three main characters...
(The entire section is 426 words.)