49 pages 1 hour read

Isabel Allende


Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2005

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Character Analysis

Diego de la Vega (Zorro)

Diego de la Vega, the novel’s protagonist, is a complex figure identified by his “fun-loving and romantic nature” (1). Diego’s adventurous and mischievous nature is evident from early on, as illustrated by his many childhood escapades. In particular, the young Diego exhibits a penchant for impressive acrobatic feats, and when he befriends the Romani in Barcelona, he even performs on the trapeze. Diego’s escapades also display his other traits, especially his resourcefulness and his sense of justice. In one notable episode from his childhood, for instance, he devises a cunning plan to capture a live bear to rescue a friend from being bullied.

Diego is the product of two different worlds. Diego’s father, Alejandro de la Vega, is an aristocratic Spanish soldier-turned-landowner, while his mother, Regina (also known as Toypurnia), is a Shoshone warrior woman. Though Diego is raised as a Spanish hidalgo, his closest friend is an Indigenous boy named Bernardo, and Diego is horrified by the Spanish settlers’ cruel treatment of the Indigenous people. Diego also learns Indigenous customs and values from his mother Regina and his grandmother White Owl, consciously striving throughout his life to attain the five basic virtues of okahué—honor, justice, respect, dignity, and courage.