Sebastian Gualdres

Character Key: 
Display Name: 
Sebastian Gualdres
Sort Name: 
Gualdres, Sebastian
Race: 
White
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Indeterminable
Rank: 
Major
Vitality: 
Alive
Occupation: 
Armed Forces
Specific Job: 
Argentine Cavalry Officer
Other Texts: 
Biography: 

Sebastian Gualdres is "the Argentine cavalry captain" whom Mrs. Harriss and her children meet in South America after Mr. Harriss’s death (170). He is one of the more exotic figures to appear in Yoknapatawpha. The narrative notes the stereotypical assumptions that the people of Yoknapatawpha have about him as "a Latin" (174), but in its depiction of his courtesy, his pride and his machismo, the narrative itself seems not unwilling to reinforce the stereotypes. Gavin Stevens calls him a "dark romantic foreign knight" (192, though he is not the "knight" of the story's title). Gualdres calls himself a "simple gaucho, paysano" (238). (A "paysano" is a countryman of the Argentine; the term is often used synonymously with “gaucho.) Max Harriss calls him "a fortune-hunting Spick" (144). Much to Max’s annoyance, Gualdres is better at everything - horses, fencing, women - that the young Yoknapatawphan thinks he has mastered. Gualdres’s sexuality is an interesting question. He has an affair with Miss Cayley, a young woman from a neighboring farm. But there is definitely something of the Whitmanian and potentially the homoerotic about his circle of male acquaintances in Yoknapatawpha: "out-of-doors men, usually bachelors" (174). Stevens, with his knight’s gambit, manages both to save Gualdres's life, and to maneuver the Argentinian captain into marrying Miss Harriss, and then, indirectly, into enlisting as a private in "a 1942 United States Army cavalry regiment" (254).

Ethnicity: 
Latino
Individual or Group: 
Individual
Character changes class in this text: 

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