Zacatecas is the last stronghold of the Federals (the Government army), led by Huerta. Demetrio, through brave recklessness, rallies his troops and takes the town when it appears a defeat is imminent. For his heroics, Demetrio is promoted to General after the siege of Zacatecas.
Cuquio is the region in the sierra where Demetrio is instructed to stop the Carranza army. In cyclical fashion, it is very near the spot where he won one of his first battles against the Federals. Demetrio's second battle at Cuquio ends in the decimation of Demetrio's entire army by machine-gun fire.
Juchipila is Demetrio's home. He fled his farm (and wife and child) to join the rebel cause and returns to his farm shortly before his final battle.
Aguascalientes is the town where they are to elect a new Provisional President after the fall of the government. However, infighting breaks out among two rebel factions, making the election realistically impossible.
The Eagle Pin
The eagle pin is the symbol a general is given to wear on his uniform. Demetrio is granted this pin by Luis after he is promoted to general. Demetrio wonders what he will do with the "buzzard."
A typewriter is looted by Demetrio's men, which serves a symbol of the futility and senseless destruction of the revolution. They barter the typewriter back and forth because it weighs too much to carry far. Eventually it is bought for a quarter by Quail, who flings it against a wall just to get rid of it.
Celeya is the site of Pancho Villa's major defeat. Demetrio's band's morale is permanently injured when they hear of Celeya, as Villa had risen to god-like status in many of their minds.
The Thirty-Thirty rifle is symbolic of Demetrio's power, violence, and expert marksmanship. It is what he clutches at the end of the book, ready to die in a blaze of glory.
Moyahua is where Demetrio was essentially run out of town and made an outlaw after insulting the local mayor, Don Monico. Demetrio eventually returns to Moyahua, burning Monico's house to the ground in revenge.
Gambling is noteworthy insofar that it is the de facto recreation of Demetrio's men when they are not fighting or traveling. It is also over a game of cards in which Pancracio and Manteca kill eac
Demetrio Macias, the protagonist, is a farmer who is forced from his home after, in a drunken state, he insults the powerful mayor of his town, Don Monico. Monico sends soldiers to Demetrio's home, and Demetrio must abandon his wife and child, after which he watches his house burn down. He initially leads a band of 20 or so men, all with different stories, but all victims of one or another kind of injustice. He is a great marksman and is fearless in battle, qualities which undoubtedly draw more and more men to Demetrio as his reputation increases. At Zacatecas, Demetrio snatches victory from the jaws of defeat with reckless bravery, and he is eventually promoted to general in the rebel army, fighting against the Government and its Federal army.
Demetrio has little understanding or care for the larger revolution at hand, but unlike his men who use the revolution largely as an excuse to plunder and vandalize, Demetrio has a different relationship to the revolution. He demonstrates his tragic trajectory by throwing a rock down a deep canyon and asking why the rock doesn't stop. In the same way, Demetrio cannot stop being a soldier, even in the face of certain death at the final battle at Cuquio. Demetrio is that falling stone, doomed to move from town to town, even as gratitude turns to hatred. Revolution has, by the end, stripped Demetrio of much of his humanity.
Luis Cervantes is a former journalist and medical student. He wrote essays against the rebels and in his fervor joined the Federal army. He did not find the regimented…