Character Analysis Jacinto, Eusabio, Benito, and Manuelito


Jacinto, Eusabio, Benito, and Manuelito are four men who represent the Indian and Mexican population of the American Southwest as more than a simplified rendering of French philosopher Rousseau's "noble savages." Jacinto is distrustful of Latour at first but recognizes that the priest treats every person in the same manner by presenting one face to all people. He trusts the priest to the extent that he feels comfortable seeking shelter with him in a secret Indian sacred cave. He will not abandon his Indian superstitions, however, which will likely end in the death of his son.

Eusabio travels through the countryside in dignity and with respect for the land. He impresses Latour by masking his presence in the countryside and minimizing as much as possible his presence, which is contrasted with the white man's attempts to draw attention to his presence. Eusabio becomes a close friend of Latour and is the first to realize that the sick priest is on his deathbed.

Benito and his family are Catholics, but they have adapted their faith to their surroundings and against the corruption and greed of the priest in Albuquerque. Benito possesses wooden religious icons more than sixty years old, but he has ascribed different values to the saints than the Vatican.

Manuelito is leader of the oppressed Navajos. He requests Latour's intercession on the tribe's behalf with the American government. When Latour explains that he is powerless to help the Navajos, Manuelito does not give up, and eventually the Navajos are restored to their lands.