Asturias is not primarily concerned with the psychological development of individual characters. Rather, the characters in this novel, through their actions and dialogues, represent the many types of people involved in the life on the banana plantations.
Adelaido Lucero is the first character introduced in the novel and it is his lifetime in the company town that provides the time frame of the novel. He is the prototype of his generation, which spends its lifetime in the service of the company. Lucero represents the experience, values, and beliefs of his people. It is around Adelaido Lucero that Asturias weaves the interactions of the major and minor characters of the novel.
Lester Mead, the American, is the most important character. Asturias first introduces him as Cosi, the vendor of sewing articles, known for his loud laugh, which people take as a sign that he is insane. Far from being a sign of his insanity, however, the laugh demonstrates his disdain for the accepted ways of doing things. He is known as Lester Mead in his role as independent grower and founder of the cooperative, and, at the end of the novel, he is revealed to be Lester Stoner, a major investor in Tropbanana. These three aspects of Mead, represented by his three names, are complementary. Cosi-Mead-Stoner is the nonconformist-idealist tempered by pragmatism.
Other characters are used by Asturias to present ideas through dialogue and actions rather than by...
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