Demetrio Marcías
Demetrio embodies the spirit, courage, and charisma of the revolutionaries' fight against the Mexican government. He is illiterate, a peasant, and an American Indian. He loves his home in Límon, his wife, and his son. The trajectory of his character in the novel moves from honorable leader to a challenged and limited general, to a completely disillusioned post-revolutionary figure. He represents the scope of the Mexican Revolution from promise and perspective. When readers first meet Demetrio, he is hiding and likely in shock after another gunshot wound, just one of “half a dozen” that he has suffered. He confronts the Federales and an odd exchange allows him to go free because one of the Federales respects Demetrio as a man with a cause. Demetrio escapes to the mountains seeking shelter, safety, and a repast so that he can heal his wounds. He is a figure of strength, courage, and resilience that inspires his men. In Remigia’s small hut, the reader begins to see another side of Demetrio—one that has limits to his heroism. He makes advances toward Camila, a young girl, while on the revolutionary war path. After one of their victories, Demetrio shoots an innocent man and sets fire to a house. Demetrio is also apolitical. He tells Luis Cervantes that he does not understand politics. He represents the charm and brawn of the peasant sector of the revolution.

Luis Cervantes
Luis is a journalist and medical student who joins the Federales. He becomes a trusted confidant to many soldiers who share their stories of being rousted from their homes and subsequently become embittered by their treatment at the hands of the government. After being beaten and disillusioned by the government’s position himself, Luis wanders into Demetrio’s camp. By nature, he is inquisitive and challenging to the cause of the revolutionary men he encounters. His medical knowledge becomes valuable and he is an inspiration to “Doc,” encouraging him to gain a medical degree. Luis carries the highest sense of idealism for the revolutionary cause. His sudden and rapturous turn in the revolution catches the attention of an old friend, Solís. Over time, Luis learns of the decay of the dream within the revolution and becomes disillusioned once again. He leaves Mexico to pursue his dreams in the United States. He embodies the idealism of youth and the practicality of dream catchers. He finds ways to explore but also to complete his goals.

Anastasio Montanés
He is the loyal friend of Demetrio. He can at once be violent and compassionate in his loyalty to his cause. He seeks to be understood when he is with Luis. After Luis demonstrates his intelligence and some degree of his character, Anastasio opens up. He is not simply a dirty and ragged man. He has ten oxen of his own and is quite content with his accomplishments. He enjoys harassing the Federales. He is with the revolutionaries only to help his friend, Demetrio.

He is a freckled and smooth faced young man with violent tendencies. His misguided decision-making may...

(The entire section is 1280 words.)