Horácio’s life seems hopeless because he has deemed himself a failure. La Maga’s life seems hopeless because she has never worked to resolve the issues of rape and abuse in her childhood. Traveler’s life seems hopeless because he has never done what he wanted to do, and even the name he’s adopted teases at this irony. But none of these people are considered by outward society to be failures. They are stuck where they are because of their own self-defeating ideas.