The Conundrum Brought on by the Last Line

“Then Don Fernando and Dona Elvira adopted the little stranger as their own son; and when Don Fernando compared Felipe to Juan and thought of how he had acquired both, her felt almost as if he should rejoice.” (33)

The first part of the last line is self-explanatory as it can be easily discovered that Don Fernando and Dona Elvira adopt Felipe after his parents have died and their own child has met his premature end. It’s the second half of the last line that seems to bring about debate. Don Fernando compares the two boys, Felipe and Juan, and ponders how they both came into his life. Juan was Don Fernando’s biological son with his wife Dona Elvira who was murdered my Master Pedrillo in a mob of people and Felipe is the son of Jeronimo Rugera and Josefa Asteron. Both boys were entrusted to Don Fernando to keep them safe and sadly he only succeeded protecting one. Since he’d lost his own son quite tragically and Felipe had lost his parents, perhaps he thought that two would be kindred spirits who could find comfort in one another. Perhaps he thought the hole in his heart due to the loss of his own child could be filled by Felipe and for that reason, he should rejoice as at a time of loss he gained a son and an orphan gained another family who would care for him.

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