The primary narrator of the story, and Pedro Páramo's only legitimate son. He begins the action of the novel by traveling to Comala to find his father. His journey is ultimately overwhelmed by the stories of the other spirits in the town, which he recounts to the reader. He dies halfway through the story, and continues to listen to his fellow ghosts while stuck in the purgatory that is Comala.
The largest landowner in and around Comala (the Media Luna). He is a tyrant driven by a desire to avenge his father's murder on the world. Through money, violence, and intimidation, he forces Comala into a lifeless, miserable state. He is the father to many bastard children in the area, including Miguel Páramo.
One of Pedro Páramo's bastard children. A poor and deaf man when he was alive, his ghost is Juan's initial guide into Comala. At the end of the novel, it is revealed that he is the one who murdered Pedro.
The first woman Juan meets in Comala. A spirit who invites him into her home and tells him about how ghosts haunt the town. An old friend of Dolorita's, and a former lover of Miguel. Her full name is Eduviges Dyada.
Juan Preciado's mother, and Pedro Páramo's first wife. On her deathbed, she begs Juan to find his father and to revisit her childhood home of Comala. Her voice haunts him throughout his journey, telling him how lovely the town was in her youth. She was initially happy to marry Pedro, but soured on the match quickly. Dismissed by Pedro, Dolorita leaves with Juan and never returns. Also goes by Lola and Dolores.
Susana San Juan
The childhood love and obsession of Pedro Páramo. She moved away from Comala when she was young, later married Florencio, and then ended up in an incestuous relationship with her father after being widowed. Though Pedro ends up forcing her into a reunion following the death of her father (which he engineered), she had already lost her sanity and spends her final days in a mad fantasy.
A character only introduced in the sections detailing Pedro's youth. Most of her scenes involve her grieving over someone's death (Pedro's grandfather and then father).
A soothsayer who once told Dolorita to avoid sleeping with Pedro on her wedding night. Because of this, doña Eduviges took her place and was almost Juan's mother. Later, there is mention of a soothsayer who was killed, which could refer to him.
Juan's aunt, and Dolorita's sister. They moved in with her after leaving Pedro behind. She resents their intrusion on her house, but because of her, Juan was able to grow up away from the wasteland of Comala.
Pedro's bastard son, and the only one he raises himself. Miguel is known for his unfettered intensity and cruelty. He collects women and is guilty of several rapes and murders. An interesting counterpoint and parallel to his father. He is killed when his horse leaps a stone fence. His ghost visits doña Eduviges.
The parish priest of Comala. A miserable hypocrite who continually forgives the Páramo family their sins because they can pay, even though it makes him sick to do so; Miguel killed his brother and raped his niece. He exploits the villagers' superstition to maintain his power over them, and is quite cruel and selective in terms of to whom he offers forgiveness.
Father Rentería's niece, and a rape victim of Miguel's. She is one of our first indications of the town's vicious patriarchy and her uncle's hypocrisy, since he forgives Miguel for money despite the young man's assault on Ana.
Eduviges's sister. She begs Father Rentería to forgive Eduviges for her suicide, but is refused.
A spirit resident of Comala, and one of Juan's hosts. She fetches him from Eduviges's house. The first person to suggest that the souls of Comala might be able to move on after a period of time. When alive, she was a maid in the Páramo home, and had an unhealthy wish to be assaulted by Pedro. She is murdered by Abundio alongside Pedro Páramo.
A victim of Pedro's following his insistence on building fences on the Media Luna. He was hung in a room in Eduviges's house, and Juan hears the cry of his ghost.
don Fulgor Sedano
Foreman of the Media Luna under both Pedro and Lucas. A practical, money-minded man who is willing to overlook the moral lapses of the Páramo family because they are effective businessmen. He carries out Pedro's dirty work, like hanging Toribio Aldrete.
Pedro's father. He was a local figure who was shot and killed accidentally at a wedding. His death haunts Pedro, and leads the boy to swear vengeance on the world.
Damiana's sister. Her ghost haunts Comala.
A cruel man in Comala who lives in an incestuous relationship with his sister. He and his sister host Juan after Damiana disappears. He and his sister are among the few living inhabitants of the town.
A woman who hosts Juan after Damiana disappears. She is in an incestuous relationship with her brother, and clearly demented. She tries to start a relationship with Juan after Donis leaves, but he flees.
Juan's main companion after he dies; they die at the same time and are buried in the same grave. When alive, she was a simpleton obsessed with having a baby. She helped Miguel collect women for his sexual exploits, and was never forgiven for it by Father Rentería. While dead, she seems to have great insight not only into the workings of the town as a purgatory, but also of how to "survive" without significant guilt.
The priest in Contla
A colleague of Father Rentería, to whom the latter appeals for atonement. Because of how much evil Father Rentería allows Pedro to commit, the priest will not forgive him.
Susana's caregiver and nurse. She has raised Susana from childhood. Though her life is miserable, she is fully committed to Susana.
Bartolomé San Juan
Susana's father. A miner who hates Pedro and wishes to keep his daughter from him. He seems to be in an incestuous relationship with her, and exerts strict control until Pedro arranges for him to be killed in a mining "accident".
Susana's first husband. She recalls him with great tenderness and lust, and in her final days of madness, revisits his memory in her feverish mind.
A messenger who brings news to Pedro about the revolution, and that don Fulgor has been murdered.
A mercenary whom Pedro hires to infiltrate the revolution. He later gets enmeshed in the revolutionary politics, and though he never betrays Pedro, he ends up fighting without any clear cause. Also goes by the name Damasio.
Pedro's lawyer. He tries to quit but ultimately stays on because he needs the money.
Mother of Gamaliel Villalpando, and the woman who gives Abundio the cheap liquor that leads him to kill Pedro.
Storekeeper who sleeps off a hangover while his mother - doña Inês - gets Abundio drunk on liquor.
One of two women whose conversation is overheard towards the end of the novel. She and Fausta gossip about Susana's imminent death, and wonder if Father Rentería is on his way to perform last rites. They are critical of Pedro and offer that Susana deserves peace in the afterlife after the misfortunes of her life.
She gossips with Angeles about Susana.
Pedro Paramo Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Pedro Paramo is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
The novel is full of implicit criticism of a world that oppresses women. Pedro Páramo and his son Miguel see women as objects (the former for their tactical value, the latter for their sexual value). Women have little agency in their own lives or...
Comala is described as a "sorry-looking place" that has gone through hard times. The buildings are run down and unkempt, the streets seem deserted. The town our narrator enters is nothing like the one he'd heard about in his mother's stories.