The chapter begins with the description of Blanca and her characteristics. The family takes a vacation to Tres Marias when Blanca is a little child. She is attracted to Pedro Tercero Garcia, the son of Pedro Segundo Garcia as soon as she arrives and they build an intimate bond with each other. Clara appreciates Tres Marias more than the city and starts doing voluntary service for the community. On the other hand, Ferula doesn't really like the countryside and the various elements of nature. However, the only reason she stays in the countryside is so that she can love Clara and build an intimate bond with her. She does her chores and helps her run the household. There are various problems in the house, but the biggest problem that the family faces is the problem with ants. The ants take over the entire house and make living hectic for the family. They try all different kinds of pesticides and remedies to get rid of the ants, but the number of ants just keeps multiplying. Pedro Segundo Garcia tries his own technique and gets rid of the ants by talking to them. The family goes back to the city in the big house on the corner just when Clara is about to have her baby. She predicts that she is going to have twins, and names them Jamie and Nicolas. She does not make love with Esteban for a long time so he goes to his old friend, Transito Soto and sleeps with her. Clara predicts the news and has dreams that her parents will die in an accident. Esteban does not tell her as she is about to go into labour but she already knows and takes the help of a driver to find the head that even the bloodhounds couldn't find using her supernatural abilities. After Jamie and Nicolas are born, there are visitors at the house such as the Mora sisters. Esteban keeps a close eye on Clara and finds Ferula sleeping with Clara one day and kicks her out of the house. However, he visits the local priest and makes sure that Ferula is provided with the required money to live happily. The chapter ends by talking about the love between Pedro Tercero Garcia and Blanca. However, Esteban does not really like Pedro as he rebels against the ideologies set by him.
This chapter takes us into the countryside where the setting is far different from the city. Even though the characters in the book do not really appreciate the countryside, they still enjoy their time there. However, Ferula did not really enjoy her time in the countryside as she "complained about the stifling evenings, which she spent shooing flies, about the dust clouds in the courtyard, which covered the house as if they were living in a mine shaft, about the dirty water in the bathtubâ€¦about the flying cockroaches that got between the sheets, about the burrows of the mice and ants. When the weather changed, she had new calamities to complain about: the mud in the courtyard, the abbreviated daysâ€¦the wind, and the winter colds." (Page 107) This perfectly depicts the setting of the countryside which is the main setting in this chapter. Even though there aren't many facilities in the countryside, the Val Dalle family enjoys living there and stay there for a long period of time. This creates a contrast between the setting in the city (where the family lives in the big house on the corner which is a big mansion full of facilities and opportunities) versus the countryside where Esteban deems in the previous chapters that it is a beautiful and calmly setting living by nature and its elements.
In this chapter, there are some new characters that are introduced. The newborn baby is named Blanca. Pedro Tercero Garcia "looked like a cannibal" (Page 107) and it was having an impact on Blanca and her manners. Blanca and Pedro Tercero Garcia develop an intimate connection from such a young age as they "played among the packages, hid beneath the furniture, exchanged wet kisses, chewed the same breadâ€¦" (Page 104) Through such intimate bonding, the author uses the strategy of foreshadowing to convey to the reader that they are meant for each other. It gives the reader an idea that the reason the author included this part of the story in the book is for relevant reasons and it will work out in the further chapters. Another strong relationship is created between Ferula and Clara as Clara serves as a great friend for Ferula, which was the need she had all her life. "Those years with Clara were probably the only happy period in her life, because only with Clara could she be herself. Clara was the one in whom she confided her most subtle feelings, and to her she consecrated her enormous capacity for sacrifice and veneration." This shows the amount of love and support Clara provided towards Ferula who had been without a friend or family member to support her all her life. She learned about her true self and her true characteristics with Clara and this relationship serves as an important factor as hinted by the narrator in this chapter.
The chapter begins with the family having a vacation in the countryside surrounded with natural beauty. This is juxtaposed against the setting described in the city where the big house on the corner is located. This is basically a method that the author uses to contrast between human society in the city which is greatly influenced by technology and various advancements versus the countryside which is largely impacted by the nature and its elements. Furthermore, another literary technique that the author uses in this chapter is foreshadowing. When Ferula and Esteban exchange curses, it tells the reader that this will come true in the future as magic realism is one of the themes and supernatural abilities are present in this book. This prediction conveys to the reader that Ferula is meant to die if she ever meets his family and that Esteban will never find a true companion in Clara. He will be alone, in constant search of a true partner and end up dying in a miserable condition. (Page 132) Communism is present once again in this chapter and serves as one of the biggest political ideologies represented through the character of Esteban in the book. When Pedro Tercero Garcia develops some rebellious ideas, he tells him to shut his mouth because "he doesn't want rebels on his land and he is the one in charge, with the right to surround himself with people he likes." (Page 138) Finally, the theme of true love is represented through two couples in this chapter. Firstly, Blanca and Pedro find true love at a very young age and become deeply attached to each other. Furthermore, the relationship between Clara and Ferula can be considered unrequited love. Ferula has an intimate bond built with Clara but Clara does not have such strong feelings for her. All in all, the theme of true love is displayed in this chapter.
Finally, this chapter introduced two new characters named Blanca and Pedro Tercero Garcia who develop an intimate bond with each other. The setting is contrasted between the countryside and the city. Various themes such as true love and communism are presented using various literary elements. However, some of the questions that I would like to see answered in the next chapter are: What will the exchange of curses represent in the future? Will the relationship between Blanca and Pedro be upheld, until marriage? What role will Ferula play in the life of Esteban? How will Clara run the house by herself? What themes will be constantly repeated in the upcoming chapters?