The whole story seems to take place between the late 18th and early 19th century in a baryo or a rural place in the Philippines where there is a trail of the Spanish era. The use of the Spanish language, the azotea, the rocking chair and the vine-covered porches are some of the evidences of the aged ambiance of the story. And also the rich Filipino culture and customs, specifically the long engagement of Alfredo and Ezperanza, which were more dominant and exercised in the past are proof that the events in the story took place during those times. In those times, Filipinos are greatly influenced by the Spaniards that they even speak their language and follow their customs. Also, Filipino women in those times, as how Benitez exhibited them in her story, are way more modest and formal than the ones in the younger generation. And the people’s way of socialization in the story through neighboring and attending soirees is an affirmation of the traditional ways of doing so.
* Alfredo Salazar – Don Julian’s son, Carmen’s brother and a bachelor over thirty. He is Ezperanza’s fiancé for about four years but has feelings for another woman, Julia Salas.
* Esperanza - Fiancée of Alfredo Salazar. She is a homely woman, literal minded and intensely acquisitive. She is one of those fortunate women who have the gift of uniformly beauty.
* Julia Salas- Judge Del Valle’s sister-in-law. She is the other girl Alfredo Salazar has feelings for. She remains single in her entire life.
* Don Julian - Father of Alfredo Salazar and Carmen
* Carmen - Sister of Alfredo Salas and wife of Vicente
* Judge Del Valle - Julia Salas’ brother-in-law and Doña Adela’s husband
* Doña Adela - Julia Salas’ sister and Judge Del Valle’s wife. She is small and plump, a pretty woman with a complexion of a baby with an expression of a likeable cow.
* Calixta – The note-carrier of Alfredo Salazar and...