Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Comala. Fictionalized version of a real Mexican town in the state of Colima, not far from where Rulfo was born in neighboring Jalisco. These places appear both on maps and in Rulfo’s novel; however, the real places are greatly transformed in the novel. Comala is described as being so hot that former residents who end up in Hell must come home to fetch their blankets.
Rulfo’s fictional Comala is controlled by the iron hand of its patrón, Pedro Páramo. When he decides that the townspeople show insufficient respect upon the death of his wife, he turns his back on the town and lets it die. Like many other Mexican villages, it becomes virtually a ghost town after its young people leave to find employment in big cities, leaving behind only the elderly, who stay to care for the graves of their dead.
Pedro Páramo’s name itself, which means “rocky barren place” in Spanish, symbolizes the barren place that the town becomes and further links the character to the location.
Media Luna. Ranch that is run by Pedro Páramo, as it had been by his father before him and as it probably would have been run by his son Miguel, if the youth had not died at an early age. The story emphasizes the importance of keeping land in families through the generations. In Spanish, the ranch’s name means “half moon.”
La Andrómeda. Mine worked by Bartolomé San Juan, father of Susana. Taking its name from a celestial galaxy, it is one of many astronomical references found throughout the novel. Continuing with the theme of depth and death in the work, in some cases local graveyards in the area contain the dead buried on top of one another. They sigh, moan, and apparently converse. By the end of the novel, the reader concludes that all of the characters are actually dead, yet are able to communicate and relive their memories.