To the priest on her deathbed when he tells her to let go of earthly concerns: “Nonsense, my good man; the mere thought of my departure fills me with infinite sadness. I shall miss even the crude bench on which you are sitting.”
Dolores was one of those people who set impossible standards on everyone around them to the point that even when Benito was hailed as a great writer she still thought of it as “quite unfortunate” because he had not become a lawyer as she wanted.
The one daughter, Manuela, secreted notes to a lover from the roof. Just like Olimpia in Fortunata y Jacinta.
Only one of the five daughters married. Due to Dolores being against any old stranger marrying in and her not bring all that socially fluid. Imagine being forced to share a bed with your grandmother and then waking up to the corpse?
Even when Benito came home a famous author, the family still went to church meaning he came home to an empty house. Religion is very important here.
I know I’m seriously generalizing, but we can see where Benito got his sensitivity (Father Sebastian) and his work ethic (Dolores), though his father was just as prudent : he was not a lazy man, just not domineering.
His father (Sebastian) always down played his importance in military heroics, even though he was brave and a good leader. His humbleness must have informed Benito to some degree in that it marks a dignity in a person, but also a conflict within to be recognized.
“Nominally Don Sebastian was the head of the household, but inwardly he knew that his part was quickly being reduced to that of a resigned an unobtrusive old man, surrounded by young and self-assertive individuals.”
Ha! On their wedding she refused to enter his home without her mother moving in that day. He was a gentle man, but didn’t want to be a push over right away so he kidnapped her and carried her over the threshold. Nice
Sebastian Perez y Macias (the older man Dolores did marry), “was one of those individuals doomed by temperament and circumstances to an obscure existence.” I see a pattern here.
Dolores is like a character in a novel. She insists that her mother live with her after marriage, she is hurt that anyone think her socially ambitious for wanting to marry a Count, but she’s practical to know a bank clerk’s salary will keep the family poor.
“However, true to the family tradition of frowning on emotional exhibitionism, she (Dolores) never exteriorized her feelings or thoughts.”
This is interesting how the author here has access to family letters. We’re getting some very detailed insight into the family.
Family history days the moment of his mother’s birth the family clock stopped. Melodramatic, but gives insight into how the family thought
There’s always one black sheep : Benito Manuel. Dad would not forgive him for going to mainland Europe without consent. I wonder what sort of fun he had?
One of Domingo’s sons, Pedro, had an interesting and also short life: he spent 6 months travelling on foot and horse around Argentina and Uruguay (who were at war) before dying of tertian fever.
His grandfather, Domingo Glados, was distinguished but poor. He also died young leaving behind 11 children.
The mother, Glados, was the major force in the family. Maybe this is why he was so interested in the lives of women?
He began in obscurity, just as he is now. His family was obviously not from a cultured class. The name Perez (father’s name) was seen as unworthy of literary distinction.