What is "Gentleman of Rio en Medio"?


Quick Answer

"Gentleman of Rio en Medio" is a short story by Juan A.A. Sedillo. It is told from the first-person perspective of a real-estate agent who is handling a transaction between some American friends and an old man in New Mexico. The title refers to Don Anselmo, who is portrayed as a dignified and honest man.

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Full Answer

"Gentleman of Rio en Medio" concerns itself with miscommunication and deception. In the short story, traditional Latin American values clash with modern American beliefs about property and ownership. Both the narrator and Don Anselmo fail to understand each other's perspective, and both withhold key information about the sale and the property.

The narrator offers Don Anselmo more than the asking price for his land, but Don Anselmo interprets this as dishonesty and refuses. However, the narrator, who is also revealed to be one of the buyers, discovers that Don Anselmo believes that each tree on his property is owned by a child in the village and that the narrator must purchase each tree individually.

The author, Sedillo, was born in New Mexico. He was of Spanish descent and worked as a writer, translator, lawyer and public servant. "Gentleman of Rio en Medio" is his most famous short story. He died in 1982.

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