Monday, July 11, 2011

"A Man of Character."

Rómulo Gallegos.

Summary: The title is ironic. Martín’s younger sister has run off with a ne-er-do-well and Martín is in disgrace because of it. He can no longer show his face in public. His mother comes in while he is shaving. At first, he says to his mother, “I’ll kill the ne-er-do-well.” She pleads with him not to do so. That will only add to her misery.

Then he thinks better of that decision. “No, I’ll kill myself.” His mother pleads with him not to do so. She and his sick father have discussed what to do—in spite of the fact that they do not have the money. They will pay to send him to Europe.

To Martin, that sounded pretty good. And he resumes shaving. A man of “character.”

Spanish Stories and Tales. Ed. By Harriet de Onís. The Pocket Library, 1956.

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