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Summary Book

The tunnel – Ernesto Sábato

The Tunnel” (El tunel) is a book written by Ernesto Sábato, where we find a central character, Castel, who lets himself be trapped by a tunnel with no exit, created by himself, mired in jealousy and distrust, ends with the life of the the only being in the world who managed to understand him and his art.


Characters in “The Tunnel”:

The main character is Juan Pablo Castel, who tells us all about his crime and how he met María Iribarne. This was a mysterious girl who had attracted his attention since he met her, since she was looking with interest at his painting. On the other hand we find the maid, Allende, who is the blind husband of Maria.

On the other hand we find Hunter, who is the cousin of Maria’s husband and supposed lover; Mimi, is a person of French descent, is unfriendly; For his part, Richard is very close to María, he committed suicide because he had many conflicts and he never found a way to solve them.

Summary and synopsis of the work:

The story talks about Juan Pablo Castel, who begins the story by saying that he is the author of María Iribarne’s crime and highlights that he does not know what people really remember about his crime. He makes a brief account of the death of this woman, who was the only person who managed to understand him.

 Castel relates that he met María in a painting exhibition in which he would exhibit. The girl caught his attention and he becomes obsessed with her and looks for her everywhere. While looking for it, he reflects on his position regarding painting and the exhibitions he does not want to attend.

Castel manages to find Maria on the street and chases her and enters the building. She recognizes him and is somewhat nervous about him. He tells her that he has tried to find her and that they should talk about the window that is in his painting. But she doesn’t get what he is trying to tell her, and he runs away. Maria catches up with him and apologizes and affirms that she has a certain interest in him and in his work.

Castel, the next day he goes to the same place to wait for Maria to pass by and take her arm in a park. The painter lets him know that he is very present in his thoughts, and that he needs it, he asks him not to abandon him for anything in the world. He also asks them to talk about his painting and the window that appears there. Maria tells her that this was similar to a message of discouragement and also tells her that she will get nothing by seeing her, since she causes harm to everyone who is close to her.

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Then Castel calls her on the phone and Maria acts strangely and tells her to hang up. He very confused tells her to call her later. But he remains very anxious and fails to fall asleep. So early he goes to a cafe and calls Maria and the maid tells her that she left the room but that she left a letter for her. Castel goes to her house and is greeted by a blind man who gives her the letter. He turns out to be Maria’s husband and his name was Allende. When Castel sees the letter, he notices that it is only written: “I also think of you.” The husband tells Castel about the place where Maria is, where her cousin Hunter is in charge.

As time passes, Days receives an invitation from Maria to stay. So Castel goes to the room where he meets a friend of Maria and Hunter. After a while, Maria goes out and goes with him for a walk on the beach. She confessed to him that her painting had moved her.

When they returned, Hunter was exalted, seemed to be jealous, which gave Castel to understand that they could have a relationship. So he decides to leave that place and take refuge in the drink. Then he sends a letter to Maria explaining that he left because he doesn’t really believe in her or her words.

Later Castel calls Maria and asks her to come see him and threatens him with suicide. So they agree to meet the next day at five in the afternoon. But she doesn’t show up and when she calls she finds out that she went back to the room.

After waiting for a long time, Castel goes up the balcony and comes to the front of Maria’s window, and she is somewhat intrigued, he only tells her that he must kill her because he abandoned him, and he kills her.

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Then he leaves the house and very early calls and tells Allende that they should see each other, and there he tells him that he has suspicions of María’s infidelity. Allende in vain yells at him and tries to chase him. But he leaves and surrenders to the authorities. Shortly after, he receives the news that Allende took his own life.

Analysis of the book:

In “The Tunnel” the main theme of the story is Juan Pablo Castel’s obsessive love for María and the jealousy that arises from thinking that she has a relationship with Hunter. However, he does not seek to clarify the situation and lets himself be carried away by his impulses, murdering the woman he loves only on suspicion of infidelity. Castel feels very insecure and suspicious, creates his own world of hypotheses and sets up his own tunnel, where he finds himself wrapped up, full of jealousy, and rips the life out of the only woman who understood him.

Verbatim quotes from the work:

“Generally, that feeling of being alone in the world appears mixed with a proud feeling of superiority: I despise men, I see them dirty, ugly, incapable, eager, rude, mean; my loneliness doesn’t scare me, it’s almost Olympic ”

“But when I proposed that we run away that same night, he was shocked, his face hardened, and he said, grimly,” We have no right to think of ourselves. The world is very complicated. ” I asked him what he meant by that. He answered me, with an even more somber accent: “Happiness is surrounded by pain”

“Many times that has happened to me: foolishly fighting against an obstacle that prevents me from doing something that I consider necessary or convenient, angrily accepting defeat and finally, some time later, proving that fate was right”

The critics. It is a plague that I could never understand. If I were a great surgeon and a gentleman who has never handled a scalpel, is not a doctor, or has splinted a cat’s paw, would you explain the errors of my operation, what would you think? The same goes for painting ”