With Blanca's wedding, Esteban employs the power of an ostentatious show to distract attention from other events. The fact that Blanca is quite pregnant makes it difficult to believe that no one noticed. This leads to the conclusion that either everyone agreed to be duped or else that the dress she wore was of exceedingly excessive proportions. Esteban and others employ similar tactics, both before and after this event, in more political arenas. When Pedro Garcia died, Esteban used an elaborate funeral to cover the fact that he did not treat the man with the respect he deserved during his lifetime. During the military dictatorship, huge walls and fancy gardens are built to keep people from noticing the ever-increasing numbers of beggars. All of these tactics employ the valuation of form over substance.

Blanca's marriage to Jean de Satigny also reemphasizes the importance of genealogy according to name. Esteban is willing to accept a grandchild he knows to be born out of wedlock as long as the child has an appropriate last name. The blood relationship in this genealogy is unimportant, but the official bearing of a socially correct last name is of utmost importance, destroying the notion that genealogy passes through biology or blood lines.

Although the events in Blanca's life are key to this chapter, its title, "The Brothers," shifts the focus to Jaime and Nicolas. While they were physically removed from the big house on the corner and Tres Marias, they were also absent from the story; now they return home and enter the plot. Like every member of the del Valle-Trueba family, Jaime and Nicolas are eccentric, each in their own way. Nicolas resembles Uncle Marcos. Jaime's commitment to social justice gives him a more important place in the remainder of the novel, which increasingly focuses around the family's involvement in political events. This does not constitute a shift in focus, but rather represents the ways in which political events became inseparable from private events. While Jaime is described as having the constitution of a priest, Nicolas is the one who becomes more involved in strictly spiritual pursuits. Clara's observation of this fact allows Jaime to express, in so many words, the Marxist view that religion is the opiate of the masses. Although this observation seems to be played out in Nicolas's relative lack of involvement with politics, it is countered by the active role priests such as Father Jose Dulce Maria and later the Vatican embassy play in ensuing events.