The progression from fanaticism to cynicism over the arc of Guzman Bento's unified Costaguana presages the same arc for the material interests, which begin with ardent desires of reform and end the book devoid of fire, continuing on with almost automatic greed in the face of popular discontent. Certainly the progression is true of Charles Gould himself. Taken together, we can glimpse the life-cycle of the unifying dream-ideal in general: inspiring devotion at the beginning, failing (inevitably) in its promise, then persisting for a while in a state of cynical carelessness, at which point it is ripe for challenge by the next ideal. Note that the fanatical stage is described as "blind," continuing the theme that cynicism is the more clear-sighted approach to the world.