46 pages • 1 hour readNilo Cruz
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Santiago is in his late fifties and likes to gamble and enjoy a drink despite the restrictive laws of Prohibition. He is used to getting away with such infractions, but when he borrows money from his half-brother, Cheché, his casual attitude catches up with him, causing conflict within Santiago’s marriage and family life and at work. Santiago misses days and hours of work at his cigar factory with some regularity, as evidenced by the fact that the factory can run perfectly well without him. Despite these flaws, Santiago is a dynamic character who learns from mistakes, and by the end of the play, he is a changed man with a renewed commitment to his wife and with a stronger work ethic and understanding of what his professional and personal lives requires of him.
Cheché is Santiago’s half-brother, who made himself known to Santiago as an adult when he arrived at Santiago’s factory witha birth certificate proving he and Santiago have the same Cuban father. Cheché is an outsider, more American than Cuban, and the women in Santiago’s family hold him at a distance. The distance between Chechéand Ofelia and her daughters makes his lasciviousness towards Marela possible, but the familial closeness of his positionmakes it even more of an offense; Chechéis an uncle and in a trusted position, but his assault on Marela proves that he is not so trustworthy after all.