Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Major Victor Joppolo

Major Victor Joppolo (joh-POH-loh), the first military governor of Adano after the Americans have retaken Italy in World War II. He is sincerely interested in restoring the dignity of the people there, and consequently he is willing to suffer what many military men would consider a lack of respect for their position. He succeeds in replacing the bell, the town’s most prized possession, which the Fascists had taken.

Sergeant Borth

Sergeant Borth, an outspoken aide to Major Joppolo. He is in complete sympathy with what the major is trying to do in the town, if not with the methods he uses.

Captain Purvis

Captain Purvis, the officer in charge of the military police in Adano. Adhering rigidly to military regulations, he is careful to report any infractions of orders, including the major’s countermand of General Marvin’s order to keep all carts out of Adano.

General Marvin

General Marvin, the overbearing commander-in-chief of the American forces in Italy. He cares nothing about the Italian people or their needs and is far too conscious of his own position and the respect he feels is due him.


Giuseppe (jee-ew-SEH-peh), Major Joppolo’s interpreter, who is quite proud of his position close to the major.


Tomasino (toh-mah-SEE-noh), a fisherman. He distrusts all authority and firmly believes in the dignity of the individual.


Gargano (gahr-GAH-noh), an ex-Fascist policeman whom Joppolo restores to a position of authority.

Lieutenant Trapani

Lieutenant Trapani (trah-PAH-nee), Captain Purvis’ subordinate. He is not afraid of the military and is willing to take some liberty with regulations when the outcome may be helpful.

Colonel Middleton

Colonel Middleton, General Marvin’s aide.


(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Major Joppolo represents the better characteristics of Americans. He is genuinely concerned for the people of Adano and wants to establish a...

(The entire section is 320 words.)