Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Joe Bonaparte, a young violinist who becomes a prizefighter. At heart a musician, he has been laughed at and hurt by people against whom he longs to fight back. The fame and money he earns in the ring make retaliation possible but brutalize Joe and change his personality. He falls in love with Lorna Moon, who finally persuades him to give up the ring. That night, they are both killed in an automobile accident.
Tom Moody, Joe Bonaparte’s fight manager and part owner.
Lorna Moon, Tom Moody’s mistress. Asked by Joe Bonaparte’s father to help the fighter find himself, she falls in love with him but feels that she cannot give up Tom Moody, whose wife has at last consented to a divorce so that he can marry her. Finally, in Joe’s dressing room after a triumphant fight, she tells him again that she loves him and persuades him to leave the ring. She is killed with him that night in an automobile accident.
Mr. Bonaparte, Joe Bonaparte’s father. Hoping that Joe will give up fighting and return to music, he refuses the parental blessing on Joe’s career until he sorrowfully sees that his son is totally committed to the ring. When Joe is killed, he claims the body and brings the boy home where he belongs.
Eddie Fuseli, a gambler and part owner of Joe Bonaparte.