In this essay I am going to examine the presentation of the character of Andres, the protagonist of the story. I shall begin by studying the physical description and the psychological/moral qualities associated with Andres in the opening chapters. I shall then show how Andres' character develops and changes as events unfold.
In ch.1 we are given a brief physical description of Andres which helps us picture him throughout the rest of the book. We first see him when he has just escaped from the CNI who killed his friend and kidnapped his father. He is described as frail with "all sharp angles- bony shoulders, wide hips" (p.12) It also says that:
"He was lithe and balanced, light on his feet, agile, but most of all his physique suggested staying power and resilience "(p.13)
In this sentence the narrator is relating Andres' outer appearance to his personality.
Andres' eyes are frequently described and James Watson uses them to help reflect his inner feelings ('the window of the soul').
In ch.2 after the description of the Black Berets shooting the youth the narrator comments:
"Andres swung round. There were tears in his eyes. He saw the slumped remains of somebody's son." (p.33)
By describing his tears it suggests that Andres is sensitive and feels things deeply. It shows that because of his own sufferings he can easily relate to other peoples' sufferings. This also helps to fuel his determination to overthrow the Junta and bring an end to injustice.
"He stared at the world as it passed and his eyes grew more fierce, the knot of anger inside him more tight." (p.31)
This further describes Andres' passion and intensity while relating to his eyes. Andres thinking back to what Braulio used to say also makes the descriptions more vivid.