Fabio’s village. Small Argentine village where Fabio lives with two aunts as a boy. The opening chapters of the novel describe the village as having forty blocks of flat houses and streets as monotonous as a prison. Village life represents order, structure, and civilization. Fabio flees his dull home in search of adventure in the countryside.
La Blanqueada (blahn-KAY-ahdah). Village saloon in which Fabio often hangs out while playing hooky from school. Occasionally, he makes a lot of money by selling his freshly caught catfish to the owner. Otherwise, Fabio wastes time, gossiping and playing pranks on the seedy characters who frequent the bar. The saloon symbolizes the wasteful and destructive side of village life. Ironically, it is here that Fabio first encounters his mentor, Don Segundo.
Galván’s ranch (gahl-VAHN). Ranch of Don Leandro Galván, to which Fabio flees from his aunts’ home in the middle of the night, following Don Segundo there. He is hired as a ranch hand and taught the ways of the gaucho. After much struggle, he tames his first wild horse and ropes his first steer. Fabio thoroughly enjoys the physically demanding work but is slow to adjust. He tries extremely hard to prove his courage and strength to the gauchos. He admires the camaraderie among these rugged cowboys and soon joins them around campfires for boastful stories, fire-roasted beef, and maté, a hot tea made...
(The entire section is 622 words.)