Modernization in the form of technology gains importance. Its ambivalent status has already been portrayed by Severo and Nivea's car, which both allows them great freedom and causes their death. Technology arrives in Tres Marias in the form of a telephone . It is still new and unstable, however. The changing status of the world is also reflected in Jaime and Nicolas's schooling experience. In the previous generation the primary foreign influence was Spain, as evidenced in the reference to royalty v ia Dona Ester's maiden name. For Esteban and his children, Britain and the United States become the most important foreign powers. This shift is emphasized when Clara and Blanca notice that Jaime and Nicolas's schooling has led them to speak "Spanish with an Oxford accent".