Pedro Paramo

Plot summary and timeline

The sequence of events for the plot is broken up in the work and is at times difficult to discern. Each plot event is stated and then defined in more detail.

  • Fulgor Sedano arrives at Media Luna: His old patrón, Lucas, told him that Pedro is totally useless and that he should go and get a new job when he dies.
  • Pedro’s grandfather dies: His family prays for him after his death to help shorten his time in Purgatory. Pedro himself does not feel like doing this and instead thinks about Susana.
  • Susana San Juan and Pedro Páramo play during their childhood: Pedro thinks about this often. They would fly kites near the village, and Pedro would help Susana fly hers. He is scolded for taking so long in the outhouse by his mother while he recalls this event.
  • Señora San Juan dies. This event is assumed since Dorotea cannot remember seeing Susana with her mother ever. Susana also talks about how her mother died. She recounts that she was sickly and never visited anyone and how no one came to her funeral. Susana laments about having to pay for Gregorian masses for her mother and the heartless transaction of money required to be able to do that.
  • The San Juan family moves to the mining region. Not much is known about this other than they lived there for many years and later returned to Comala.
  • Susana and her Father explore the Andromeda mine. Señor San Juan drops Susana, at the end of a rope, down into the old mine shaft and tells her to look for gold coins. She is unable to find any, only a skeleton.
  • Lucas Páramo was killed: He was shot at a wedding by a bullet that was meant for the bridegroom. Pedro later killed most of the people at that wedding. He also permanently crippled a man, which Juan hears about in the grave.
  • Florencio dies (exact time unknown). Susana’s husband dies, and she tragically becomes mad. She still thinks that he is living. She stayed up late that night waiting for him, but he never arrived at home, and in the morning she found out that he was dead.
  • Fulgor Sedano tells Pedro about his father's debts: Sedano had avoided Pedro in the past because of the warnings of Lucas but stayed on the hacienda because he loved the land. He has to tell Pedro about the debts. Pedro answers, “I’m not interested in how much, just to whom.” They concoct a plan get Dolores Preciado to marry him to eliminate the debt to her family.
  • Sedano and Dolores Preciado talk: Sedano tells her a lie about how much Pedro had wanted her and that he is really a very shy man. To this, she replies that she is having her period and cannot be married so soon. Sedano is scornful of this reason.
  • Osorio warns Dolores Preciado not to sleep with Pedro on her wedding night. She begs Eduviges Dyada to go and sleep with Pedro in her place. Eduviges does this, but Pedro is too drunk to have sex.
  • Miguel Páramo is killed by his horse: He is going to Contla to visit his girlfriend and to have sex with her when he attempts to save time on his journey by jumping his horse over a fence that his father had built. His horse’s name is El Colorado, and it was said that this horse would be the death of him one day. His ghost came back to tell Eduviges about this.
  • Miguel Páramo is absolved by the Church: Father Rentería absolves him after Pedro Páramo gives him some gold coins. The priest realizes that he cannot afford to anger the leader of the town, Pedro, by not doing so. The priest is upset that he absolved his brother’s killer and niece’s rapist.
  • Father Rentería talks to his confessor: He is not forgiven of his sins as he did not give absolution to the dying. The other priest chastises him for not doing his job and saying that the people of Comala believe in God more out of superstition rather than actual adoration. They talk about how the land is bitter in Mexico.
  • Dorotea confesses: Dorotea goes to Father Rentería and tells him that she was the one who was procuring girls for Miguel Páramo. She is drunk at Miguel’s wake. She tells the priest that she had brought girls for Miguel for years and years and that she had lost count of how many she had gotten. The priest said that there is nothing that he is able to do about it. He cannot forgive her and says that she will not “go to Heaven now.”
  • Toribio Aldrete is hanged: He was plotted against by Fulgor Sedano and Pedro Páramo, who accused him of “falsifying boundaries”. Toribio owned some land that Páramo wanted to add to his hacienda. Pedro orders Sedano to write charges for Aldrete’s conviction. One night Aldrete is drunk and goes into Eduviges Dyada’s house (the corner room) and is hung. He is left to “turn to leather” and to never have salvation. The key to the room is thrown out. Ironically, Eduviges gives Juan Preciado this room in her house in which to stay the night. He then hears an echo of the past while sleeping and awakens suddenly.
  • Dolores Preciado (Juan's mother) leaves Pedro Páramo and the Media Luna hacienda: She is looking at a crow in the sky and says that she wishes that she was this bird and could fly to her sister’s house in the city. Pedro becomes angry enough to finally dismiss her. She leaves and never returns. She and Pedro are never divorced.
  • Eduviges Dyada kills herself: Her sister, Maria Dyada, tells Father Rentería that it was out of despair. “She died of her sorrows.” But the priest laments that all her good work has gone by the wayside and that she will be unable to get into heaven. The priest says that only with prayers will she be able to get into heaven, and even then nothing is certain.
  • Start of the Mexican Revolution
  • Return of the San Juans: Señor Bartolomé San Juan refuses to read the letters from Pedro asking him to come and be his administrator. He is finally found and comes back to Comala only because the Revolution makes the countryside dangerous. He finds out the Pedro wants only his daughter.
  • Señor San Juan dies: Before, while working, he had realized that he would die and that he must die. Additionally, Sedano and Pedro conspire to have him killed. He dies and goes to heaven. His “spirit” comes to say goodbye to Susana. Susana laughs that he came to say goodbye to her while Justina cries. He must have been killed since his ghost does not haunt the town.
  • Fulgor Sedano is killed: A scared man comes to Pedro’s house with the news. He says that the revolutionaries stopped him and Sedano and told Sedano to run and tell Pedro that they were coming for him and then shot him as he ran.
  • Pedro joins Revolution: He calls the local revolutionaries to his house for supper. He promises to give them much money and support, even more than they had asked for. By doing this he managed to remain safe and prevent the soldiers from attacking his lands.
  • El Tilcuate, the revolutionary leader, and Pedro talk: Pedro tells Damasio that he has no more money to give to him to fight and that he should go and raid a larger town to get supplies.
  • Susana San Juan dies: She refuses absolution by the priest. She is simply waiting for death to come and take her. Father Rentería gives her communion, but she is semi-delirious and is talking to Florencio. Susana says that she “wants to be left in peace”. She dies without receiving the last sacraments.
  • The party: The people of Comala have a large fiesta, which is full of drinking and wild revelry. This greatly annoyed Pedro, who wanted people to mourn his loss of Susana. He says, “I will cross my arms and Comala will die of hunger.” And that is what happened
  • Refugia Martínez dies: This is the wife of Abundio. He had stayed up all night with her, and she had died in the morning. He is out to get drunk to forget his troubles. He goes to the Villalpando’s store to do so.
  • Damiana Cisneros’s slaying: Abundio Martínez frightens Cisneros, and she begins to scream. In his drunken state he becomes confused and begins to stab her. While doing so, he thinks about his wife and that he only wanted money for her burial. He is then captured and dragged back into town.
  • Pedro Páramo dies: He is stabbed by his illegitimate son, Abundio. Pedro dies after thinking about Susana. It can be discerned that with her death, he died, too. He realizes that he cannot move his arms and the ghost (apparently) of Cisneros comes to him, and then he dies.
  • Dolores Preciado dies: Her death wish is for Juan to find his father and get what he deserves from him after all of these years.
  • Juan Preciado comes to Comala: He meets the ghosts of:
    • Abundio
    • Eduviges
    • Damiana
  • He is taken in by Donis and his sister/wife: He is scared to death.
  • Dorotea dies.
  • Juan dies.
  • Juan and Dorotea are buried in the same grave.

This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.