The Storyteller | Study Guide

Mario Vargos Llosa

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The Storyteller | Characters

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Character Description
Saúl Zuratas A Jewish Peruvian student, Saúl Zuratas becomes fascinated with the Amazon's indigenous Machiguenga tribe. He's also nicknamed Mascarita or "Mask Face" because of a large purple facial birthmark. Read More
Narrator The unnamed narrator is a law student, writer, and later a documentary film producer living in Lima, Peru. He narrates five chapters in the novel. Read More
Storyteller A member of the Machiguenga tribe, the storyteller narrates three chapters in the novel. The implication is the storyteller is Saúl Zuratas. Read More
Ashaninkas The Ashaninkas are an Amazon tribe.
Andean boy The Andean boy is a young boy the narrator and Saúl see in a restaurant.
Blind Tasurinchi The blind Tasurinchi is a Machiguenga man the storyteller meets in Chapter 3.
Blind Tasurinchi's son The blind Tasurinchi's son is a Machiguenga child who comes back from the dead to visit his parents.
Blind Tasurinchi's wife The blind Tasurinchi's wife is a Machiguenga woman whose two sisters have died.
Camisea Tasurinchi The Camisea Tasurinchi is a Machiguenga man whose family has rejected him. The storyteller meets him in Chapter 3.
Juan Comas Juan Comas is a Mexican anthropologist the narrator meets in the Amazon.
Rosita Corpancho Rosita Corpancho works for the University of San Marcos. She tells the narrator about the Summer Institute of Linguistics.
Moshé dan Furgang Moshé dan Furgang, another Jewish Peruvian, is the editor of the Tower of Babel.
Genaro Delgado Genaro Delgado is the owner of a television channel. He talks the narrator into working on the Tower of Babel documentary series.
Drunk man at the bar The drunk man mocks Saúl's birthmark in a Lima bar, which is typical of people's reactions.
Forest Tasurinchi The forest Tasurinchi is a Machiguenga man who lives in the forest. The storyteller meets him in Chapter 3. He escaped to the forest after meeting the White Father and contracting a mysterious illness.
Gregor Samsa Gregor Samsa is Saúl's pet parrot, named after the main character in Czech writer Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis.
Gregor-Tasurinchi A character in one of the storyteller's stories, Gregor-Tasurinchi is a Machiguenga man who transforms into a giant bug. He's similarly based on Gregor Samsa in Kafka's The Metamorphosis.
Herb doctor The herb doctor is a Machiguenga man who befriends the storyteller in Chapter 5.
Herb doctor's daughter The herb doctor's daughter is a Machiguenga woman whose father almost gives her to the storyteller in marriage. She kills herself so she won't take the storyteller from the tribe.
The hunter A man in Machiguenga myth, he hunts the forbidden deer and turns into one as punishment.
Inaenka An evil woman in Machiguenga myth, Inaenka nearly destroys the tribe but is outsmarted by her son.
Inaenka's son In Machiguenga myth Inaenka's son disguises himself as an annatto bush to trick his evil mother. He turns into a moritoni bird to escape her.
Jehovah-Tasurinchi A character in one of the storyteller's tales, Jehovah-Tasurinchi is a storyteller in his own land until he's executed. Jehovah-Tasurinchi is based on the story of Jesus.
Jum Jum is a tribal leader in the Amazonian village of Urakusa who is tortured by members of another settlement after refusing to trade with them.
Kachiborérine Kachiborérine is a man who turns into a comet in Machiguenga myth.
Kashiri Kashiri is the name of the moon in Machiguenga myth. Kashiri comes down to earth as a young man and marries a Machiguenga woman.
Kientibakori Kientibakori is the god of evil in Machiguenga myth. He's responsible for the kamagarinis, or evil spirits in the forest.
Kompiroshiato seripigari The Kompiroshiato seripigari is a Machiguenga shaman the storyteller meets in Chapter 7. The storyteller considers him the wisest seripigari he's ever known.
Luis Llosa Luis Llosa is the photography director on the Tower of Babel.
Gabriele Malfatti Gabriele Malfatti is a photographer who takes pictures of the Machiguenga tribe. The narrator sees his exhibit in Florence, but Malfatti is dead by then.
Fray Elicerio Maluenda Fray Elicerio Maluenda is a priest and missionary who has spent many years living with the Machiguenga tribe.
Martín Martín is a Machiguenga man and village leader the narrator meets in Chapter 6. He's received a bilingual education and adopted Western clothing and mannerisms.
Mascarita Mascarita is the crippled parrot that travels with the storyteller in the Amazon.
The Mashcos The Mashcos are a rival tribe in the Amazon who defeat the Machiguengas in a battle.
José Matos Mar Professor José Matos Mar heads the Department of Ethnology at Lima's University of San Marcos. He arranges a fellowship for Saúl in Europe, which Saúl turns down.
Mishahua Tasurinchi The Mishahua Tasurinchi is a Machiguenga man who marries a woman from another tribe. The storyteller meets him in Chapter 5.
Pachakamue The first man in Machiguenga myth, Pachakamue has the power to speak objects into existence with his words.
Pareni Pareni is the first woman in Machiguenga myth.
Fidel Pereira A man of mixed white and Machiguenga heritage, Fidel Pereira lives near the Machiguenga tribe and runs coffee plantations in the Amazon.
Alejandro Pérez Alejandro Pérez is the cameraman on the Tower of Babel.
Professor Porras Barrenechea Professor Porras Barrenechea is a history professor at the University of San Marcos when Saúl and the narrator attend.
Punarunas The Punarunas are an Amazon tribe.
Tasurinchi A Machiguenga man who lives by the riverbend, the riverbend Tasurinchi fears his wife is a she-devil. The storyteller meets him in Chapter 3.
Saúl's mother Saúl's mother is a woman of mixed racial heritage and an outsider in Peru. She has died before the book begins.
Edwin Schneil Edwin Schneil is a North American linguist and missionary working with the Summer Institute of Linguistics. He spends many years living with the Machiguenga tribe.
Mrs. Schneil Mrs. Schneil is a North American linguist and missionary working with the Summer Institute of Linguistics. She spends many years living with the Machiguenga tribe.
Schoolteacher The schoolteacher is a Machiguenga woman the narrator meets in Chapter 6. She has adopted Western clothing and mannerisms.
Segakiato seripigari The Segakiato seripigari is a Machiguenga wise man, or shaman, the storyteller meets in Chapter 5.
The seripigari The seripigari is a tribal wise man, or shaman, in the Machiguenga tribe. In Chapter 3 he tells the Machiguengas to continue walking.
Tasurinchi, the god of good The god of good in Machiguenga myth, Tasurinchi created the first Machiguengas.
Timpania Tasurinchi The Timpania Tasurinchi is a Machiguenga man who partners with Westerners to farm land in the Amazon. The earth shakes in retaliation for his overfarming. The storyteller tells his story in Chapter 7.
Tzonkori Tzonkori is Pareni's second husband whom Pachakamue turns into a hummingbird.
Viracochas The Viracochas are white men who settle in the Amazon, threatening the livelihood of the Machiguengas. Viracocha was also the god of the Incas, whose empire enslaved other South American indigenous tribes in the 15th century.
White Father White Father is the Machiguengas' name for an unidentified white man who settles in the Amazon forest.
Yagontoro Pareni's husband, Yagontoro kills Pachakamue but doesn't cut off his tongue.
Yaminahua woman The Yaminahua woman marries a Machiguenga man and struggles to be accepted by the community.
Don Salomón Zuratas Don Salomón Zuratas is Saúl's father. Bereft after his wife's death, he runs a grocery store in Lima.
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