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Eva Luna - Chapter Four 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.
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Chapter Four Summary

The body of Lukas Carle is found hanging from a tree outside of town by the postman. Frau Carle and Rolf identify the body. Frau Carle has to hide her face to prevent the doctor from seeing her smile. Though the doctor tells the woman that it seems her husband has committed suicide, she informs Rolf that his schoolmates have killed Lukas. Rolf is stunned when his mother tells him that they should be grateful, as it means they will not have to kill the man themselves.

Rolf falls into a depression, unable to reconcile the death of his father with the fact that he wishes he had the personal resolve to have killed Lukas himself. When the five students that had killed Lukas begin wearing a patch on their uniforms in order to remember the event, Rolf becomes despondent, unable to eat or drink. Frau Carle decides to send the young man to live with a distant cousin in South America. Rolf does not want to leave his mother or sister but Frau Carle will not listen, and takes him to the ship.

Rolf spends a month on the ship where he recovers from his despair. Arriving in South America the young man is met by his Uncle Rupert. Rupert and his wife and daughters live in La Colonia, a village so like Austria that Rolf feels he has traveled back in time. Uncle Rupert and Aunt Burgel run an inn. In addition Rupert is a clock maker and a carpenter. The man hopes to teach Rolf the trade, as well as have him marry one of his daughters. Rolf feels immediately welcome and at home, the horrors of his life left behind in Austria.

Time passes and Rolf enjoys life in the village. Rolf and his cousins grow close, and the three become lovers, enjoying life to the fullest. The three young people hide their romance from Rupert and Burgel, though the adults seem to think that Rolf is working too hard because he always seems exhausted. Three years pass in this way, until the sisters decide that though they love Rolf they cannot both marry him. Always practical, the sisters decide to marry the sons of the local candle maker. Rolf is devastated at first, but quickly sees things their way. It is quite possible the three would have continued the arrangement forever, however a guest of the inn changes Rolf's life forever.

Senor Aravena visits La Colonia frequently, and always stays at Uncle Rupert's hotel. Aravena is a newspaperman and a film maker. Rolf becomes intrigued by the man and his job, impressed that Aravena is so well respected that even those in the government do not bother him. Though Aravena sometimes prints things that are not flattering to the man who rules the country and the head of the police, he is respected and therefore, tolerated.

Rolf tells his uncle that he does not wish to carry on the family businesses, but instead intends to make documentaries, preserving news and history for all time. His cousins try to dissuade him, refusing to have sex with him, then change tactics, smothering him with attention. Rolf does not change his mind and two months later leaves for the university to study cinematography.

Chapter Four Analysis

In chapter four, the reader once again returns to the life of Rolf Carle. The young man's world changes again when his father is found dead, hanging in a tree. Though there is evidence that the school master has met with foul play, no one in the town is willing to pursue the case. Frau Carle knows that her husband has been murdered, and is nothing but grateful to the school boys that have committed the deed so that she and Rolf will not have to do it themselves. The thought horrifies the young man.

Rolf becomes despondent, considering the thought that he had not been man enough to do away with his father himself. The fact that the five boys that had carried out the deed are proud of the act, flaunting it by wearing patches on their uniforms, makes matters worse for him. The young men will never be punished, as they are related to the law officers and judges in the town. That, coupled with the fact that Lukas Carle was disliked by all leaves Rolf alone in his anguish. Rolf does not miss his father, he despised him as well, but he is haunted by him regardless. The murder of Lukas, coupled with memories of the night at the death camp tear him apart, leaving him unable to eat or sleep.

Frau Carle sends her youngest child to South America in order to save him. Rolf's mother shows him a calm exterior, but the reader knows that she will miss Rolf. Her strength is only for his sake, so that Rolf will be able to leave her with a clear conscious. This is demonstrated by the fact that Frau Carle remains on the dock until the ship is out of sight, not knowing if she will ever see her son again.

La Colonia is a different world for Rolf, a village created in the style of a village in old Austria. Rolf feels as if he is stepping back in time, while in reality he is moving forward. Finally able to let go of the past, Rolf settles into the loving family of his Uncle Rupert and Aunt Burgel, as well as his two cousins. The love that is given openly to Rolf is foreign to him after so many years of living with the terror his father created, but he is able to move on.

Rolf becomes a dependable young man, flourishing in the care of his aunt and uncle, and learning the ways or sex and romance with his cousins. The two girls are not named, the same technique the writer uses when relating events in the life of Eva Luna. This seems to signify that though the characters are significant to the storyline and development of a character, they are not as important as others.

Rolf meets Senor Aravena and his life changes, though to what extent the reader will not learn for some time. In addition, the characters that Rolf interacts with will also have some effect on the life of Eva Luna.

This section contains 1,066 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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