Adolfo, a poverty-stricken former major-league baseball pitcher who ruins his career with alcohol. Adolfo realizes that he has made no plans for his future, so he decides to see if Isabel, the only woman he has truly loved, will let him move in with her. She refuses him. Adolfo’s insecurity is evident in his attempts to appear to be the winner in arguments with his cousin Maria and in his making himself the hero of every baseball story he tells. Adolfo is also insecure about his ability to perform sexually, a problem he never had in younger years. Adding to his insecurity is the cruelty of people telling him that his mouth resembles a rectum whenever he is not wearing his dentures. Although poverty prevents him from improving his appearance, Adolfo is concerned about how he looks. Adolfo has a good sense of humor and wants to be liked by everyone; open dislike crushes him. He loves telling baseball and war stories, but people at the boarding house where he lives start to avoid him so they will not have to hear another story. After his various love affairs fail to lead to true love, Adolfo’s search for stability leads him back to Maria’s house, where he is happy.
Maria, an emotional yet strong woman who is able to overcome adversity. Maria manages to overcome being jilted by the man she was in love with, the father of one of her children. She carries, delivers, and keeps her illegitimate daughter,...
(The entire section is 600 words.)