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Last Updated on June 8, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 149

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Rodriguez’s Days of Obligation includes Rodriguez's father, who is less optimistic about what America has to offer than his son is (Richard Rodriguez, then “Ricardo”). His father is disillusioned with life, and he represents the older generation of Mexicans.

Another major character is Juan Diego, a central figure of the first chapter, “India.” He had a vision of the Virgin of Guadalupe and became the first indigenous Roman Catholic saint. Another chapter that features a main character is chapter 5, “The Mission.” This chapter discusses Junípero Serra, a Spanish priest who led the missionary movement in California, founding dozens of missions that populate the California landscape. Another major figure that emerges in Rodriguez’s book is Joaquin Murrieta, a legendary Mexican figure during the gold rush era of California. He has become the subject of California folklore, akin to a cultural hero, and he is discussed in chapter 6.