46 pages 1 hour read

Nilo Cruz

Anna In The Tropics

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 2003

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Act 1

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Act 1 Summary

Sounds of cheering open the play, and Eliades, the operator of the cockfights, collects money from Santiago and Cheché, half-brothers who like to gamble and drink. Santiago bets more recklessly than Cheché, who says, “No, that’s enough,” (9) to Eliades when he comes around to see if Cheché would like to put more money on his “winged beaut[y]” (9). While the men gamble and drink, Santiago’s wife, Ofelia, and their two daughters, Marela and Conchita, eagerly await a ship to arrive from Havana, Cuba at the seaport. They admire a photograph of a man Ofelia is holding, and Marela describes him as “elegant and good-looking” (10), and Ofelia admits to her daughters that she “took some money from the safe to pay for the lector’s trip” (11), revealing that the man they await is “the best lector west of Havana” (11).

As the women anticipate the lector’s arrival and imagine the books he will read to them, the action jumps back to the cockfight, where Santiago is losing all of his money. He borrows money from Cheché, who insists that Santiago give him his word that he will pay him back.