In Tristana, the plot is perfectly linear almost to the very end. When her mother dies, Tristana is taken in by her guardian, Don Lope.
She becomes his mistress, but falls in love with a painter and goes off to live with him in Madrid. Two years later, Tristana returns to Toledo, suffering from a tumour on her leg. Don Lope is still in love with her and again takes her in.
Her leg has to be amputated. Embittered, she spurns her young lover and ends up marrying her guardian. One night, Don Lope falls ill. Tristana pretends to call a doctor but, taking advantage of the old man’s unconscious state, she opens his bedroom window while it is snowing outside, probably to speed up his death.