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Eva Luna - Chapter Three Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 53 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Eva Luna.
This section contains 1,117 words
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Chapter Three Summary

Eva Luna's mother dies, four days after the young girl's sixth Christmas. Consuelo tells her daughter that there really is no death as long as one is remembered. Eva promises never to forget her mother and fetches the cook, her madrina. The cook has promised to care for Eva Luna and does so to the best of her abilities, stating that she will burn in hell if she does not.

Life continues for a year until Professor Jones dies as well. As his last days approach it falls to Eva Luna to care for him. he old man is amazed by the young girl, telling the priest that visits him daily that Eva Luna is to be his only heir. The priest however, ignores the professor's wishes, and proceeds to loot the estate, closing the house. Madrina cannot care for Eva Luna on her own, so she finds a place for the girl to work. Eva Luna is taken in by a retired brother and sister, her now patrona and patron. She meets Elvira, the cook, who treats her as a grandchild. Elvira is a strange but loving woman, and the two get along well. Afraid to be buried in a pauper's grave, Elvira keeps a coffin in her bedroom and the two play games, pretending to attend each other's funerals, much to the annoyance of the maid.

All is well until one afternoon when the patrona catches Eva studying a picture of the sea that hangs in the dining room. The woman yells at Eva, and something snaps in the girl. She flies at the woman, tearing the elaborate wig from her head and fleeing the house. Outside, Eva is horrified and drops the hair in the street, then heads to the center of the city.

Eva meets a young boy, Huberto Naranjo. Eva tells him she is about nine, unsure of her own age, and that she is going to be arrested for scalping her employer. The boy is not worried in the least, explaining that as a minor Eva should be fine. The two spend several days together and Huberto takes care of Eva. Eva repays Huberto for his kindness by telling him elaborate stories, tales she has created from the bits and pieces of her life and the stories she hears on the radio. The two stumble across the area in town where Madrina lives, and Eva parts ways with Huberto. Eva's Madrina is not happy, beating the girl for her insolence and behavior toward the patrona. Four days later, after the worst of Eva's injuries have healed, Madrina returns her to the home of the patrona and the patron.

Eva works for the brother and sister for several years, spending her time with Elvira whom she loves and calls abuela, or grandmother. The world around them changes as another dictator takes over the country and political upheaval continues. Life outside the walls of the house does not affect Eva much and she goes about her business. Eva spends time in the kitchen with Elvira, spinning stories for the woman's enjoyment. Though life is not bad, Eva knows that she should not have returned to the house and thinks of Huberto often.

Chapter Three Analysis

The life of Eva Luna continues, despite the tragic death or Consuelo. The young girl's mother tells her that no one truly dies if they are remembered, and Eva vows to keep her mother in her mind always. This is a key moment in the novel, as Eva begins to develop the wonderful imagination that will serve her through her life.

Several characters are introduced in this chapter, some more important than others. Though the characters are described in detail, only a few are referred to by name. These characters are the more important to Eva. The author does not give names to some, signifying that though they are significant to the person that Eva will become, they are not significant to the character of Eva.

Madrina, as Eva calls the cook who is her godmother, cares for the young girl as best she can, taking her in when Consuelo dies. Though her madrina does her best, she is not able to care for herself and the young girl when Professor Jones dies. The woman finds a home where Eva can work, providing her with a place to live and food. This seemingly insignificant act sets Eva on a path that she will return to many times in her life.

At the home of a retired brother and sister, Eva meets Elvira, the cook. Elvira takes Eva under her wing, happy to have someone to care for. The two develop a loving relationship, one that Eva cherishes. Though Eva already knows that her life will be filled with farewells, the two will be friends always. The games they play in the coffin that Elvira keeps create not only a deep affection for each other, but foreshadow events in the future that will bring them back together.

The sister and brother are never named, simply referred to as the patrona and patron. Though the years that Eva spends in their home shape her character, they are obviously not as important to Eva as Elvira. To the young girl, her employers are simply there, people that need to be dealt with, but then forgotten. Eva's relationship with the two is very different. The patron is a drunk who spends his time worrying about horse races. Though the man obviously notices the changes that take place in Eva as she grows, the extent of his attention is to have the girl help him bathe and dress. Eva takes this in stride, despite the fact that there is clearly a sexual undertone to the man's attention.

The patrona is more difficult for Eva to deal with, and it is a confrontation with the woman that leads Eva to flee the home. After snatching the wig from the woman's head, Eva runs to the city and meets Huberto Naranjo, a young boy who lives in the streets. Even at a young age, Huberto is smart, running cons on the people in the city and living as well as a street urchin can.

Eva and Huberto spend time in the streets and develop an affection for each other, though they are young and it is the relationship of siblings. This will persist throughout the novel, however the two will become more than friends eventually. This small friendship will also become the basis of the woman that Eva will become, creating in her the ability to fend for herself, and more, giving her the knowledge that she can.

This section contains 1,117 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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