Amanda invites pity upon Nicolas when she exclaims, "you will always be a child" (234). Throughout this passage, we see many subtle signs of Nicolas' emerging maturity. The flamboyant and retrospective young man slowly starts to realize the protective shield that has been guarding him for all his life, and the true nature of the world behind it. Isabelle Allende makes the rite of passage clear through the turns in Nicolas' personality. A key way in which Allende cements her point is through the narrative structure of the passage.
Nicolas, who has never been taught the virtue of hard work, has always considered the world his oyster. However, his careless attitude towards his freedom is contradicted through the shocking news of his girlfriend's pregnancy. Nicolas had thought that "she had sufficient experience to avoid making him a father at twenty-one and herself an unwed mother at twenty-five" (232). This results in Nicolas transforming from a childish "irresistible seducer" to a man "who realize[s] he know[s] almost nothing" about the woman he claims to love (231)(234). Nicolas who has been protected by "someone stronger than himself," like his brother Jaime, now "sidestep[s] the abyss yet one more time" when Amanda is the first to suggest abortion for she does not love Nicolas enough to commit to marriage(233).
This comment by Amanda highlights the arrogance in Nicolas who realizes that "up until that point he had never felt rejected or abandoned" (233). Contrarily he had always "had to resort to all his tact to disengage himself without hurting the girl" (233). This curve in treatment towards him helps him to be humble and reconsider the lifestyle that he lives. He, for the first time witnesses the conditions that now faced "poor, alone, and expecting a child" (233). Nicolas who had always regarded Amanda as his queen now notices the extent to what her "actual situation" is, he grasps that hers was "another world" entirely (234). "Her unkempt hair
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