Esteban is obsessive, violent, and materialistic. He devotes his life to his business and political careers, determined first to become rich and then to become powerful. He owes much of his success to the labor of the peasants at Tres Marias, but he never treats them with respect or equality. From the time he becomes engaged to Clara through the end of his life, Esteban is passionately in love with her. His love for her is so strong it is like an obsession. It is not, however, enough to curb his temper, even toward her. Esteban achieves his material goals but is not able to be close to anyone except his granddaughter Alba. As he ages, Esteban begins to see the negative outcomes of his violent, selfish actions and becomes increasingly aware of how lonely he is.