“People like him a lot,” she told me, “because he’s honest and has a good heart, and last Sunday he received communion on his knees and helped with the mass in Latin.”
Here, the narrator recounts a line in a letter he received from his mother about Bayardo San Roman. As soon as he came to town, he impressed everyone except for Angela Vicario. As described here, he seems almost too good to be true, making the narrator wonder if there is more to Bayardo San Roman than meets the eye.
He seemed more serious to me than his antics would have led one to believe, and with a hidden tension that was barely concealed by his excessive good manners. But above all, he seemed to me like a very sad man.
Once the narrator meets Bayardo San Roman, he finds that Bayardo doesn’t quite live up to the incredible man the narrator’s mother described. The narrator seems to be the only person who sees the sadness in Bayardo San Roman, suggesting that Bayardo’s immediate desire to marry Angela Vicario comes from a feeling of loneliness rather than genuine love.
Bayardo San Roman, for his part, must have got married with the illusion of buying happiness with the huge weight of his power and fortune, for the more the plans for the festival grew, the more delirious ideas occurred to him to make it even larger.
As Bayardo San Roman plans his wedding to Angela Vicario, he spares no expense, and the narrator thinks Bayardo must assume a more expensive wedding will lead to a happier marriage. As an extremely wealthy man, Bayardo San Roman may indeed have thought that money could buy happiness. While his money allows him a comfortable lifestyle, his wealth also gives him a certain emptiness that Angela notices.
The only one who had lost everything was Bayardo San Roman: “poor Bayardo,” as he was remembered over the years.
As the narrator describes the aftermath of all involved in the murder of Santiago Nasar, he notes that everyone but Bayardo San Roman made out well. Throughout the story of how the brothers murdered Santiago, Bayardo is hardly mentioned at all even though he was the person to set off the chain of events. While Bayardo started out as the most prosperous character, he ends up losing everything.
The only time I tried to talk to him, twenty-three years later, he received me with a certain aggressiveness and refused to supply even the most insignificant fact that might clarify a little his participation in the drama. In any case, not even his family knew much more about him than we did, nor did they have the slightest idea of what he had come to do in a mislaid town, with no other apparent aim than to marry a woman he had never seen.
Here, the narrator explains how Bayardo San Roman receives him years after the story’s main events. Bayardo remains a mystery not only to the narrator but to Bayardo’s family as well. Even decades later, Bayardo San Roman still feels ashamed that his wife did not enter into their marriage with her honor intact. Bayardo takes Angela’s past personally to such an extreme that the situation ruins his life.
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