In chapter 5
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Dede is jealous of Lio's interest in Minerva. She sees them as a glamorous couple doing exciting things, while she and Jaimito are merely expected to end up together. She exposes them hiding in the bushes together and even burns the letter from Lio that was intended for her sister. Dede tells herself it is to protect Minerva, but her action is clearly also out of jealousy that her sister might get involved in such a daring adventure with Lio.
As the narrator, Dede uses exclamations often, characterizing herself as someone whose placid, smiling demeanor is interrupted by bursts of emotion. When she considers her task of being "the grande dame of the beautiful, terrible past" by relating her family's history to the woman interviewer, she exclaims, "But it is an impossible task, impossible!" In talking about her husband, she wonders, "But who could control Jaimito, only son of his doting mother, unquestioned boss of his five sisters!"
The metaphors of knotted string and captivation carry through this chapter, as Dede describes herself getting caught up in the twists and turns of life. When Lio teases her for going to play volleyball in a dress, "Suddenly, Dede feels foolish, caught in her frivolity as if she were a kitten knotted in yarn." As Dede reads articles in the paper about how people are getting arrested, "Dede's courage unraveled like a row of stitches not finished with a good, sturdy knot." Being sown up can be for protection or for captivation. She does not think Lio has a plan, and she becomes afraid to be involved with him.