Guests of the Nation

by Frank O'Connor

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What standout character traits do Belcher and Hawkins have in "Guests of the Nation"?

Expert Answers

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Hello! You asked about Belcher and Hawkins in Frank O'Connor's 'Guests of the Nation.' Both are English soldiers held prisoner by a small Irish rebel group during the Irish Rebellion.

Since you asked about the personality and character traits of both men, I hope the comparisons below will be helpful.


- A quiet man, he befriends the old woman of the house. He seems to be able to predict her every move and is always ready to help when she needs it.

- When he realizes that he is to be shot, along with Hawkins, he is calm and accepts his fate. When Hawkins fails to die after Jeremiah Donovan's one shot, he quietly asks for Hawkins to be given another shot in order to be put out of his misery. Despite his own impending death, he shows consideration for Hawkins.

- He asks his captors to write to Hawkins' mother if they are so inclined.

- He does not hold his death against his Irish captors. He dies with dignity and quiet courage.


- An argumentative character, he tends to talk a lot, and is always arguing with Noble about religion and capitalism. He meets his match in the old woman as both are quick-tongued. Hawkins is also foul-mouthed and has a bad temper.

- He is not religious and does not believe in any afterlife. He is a Communist and an anarchist and believes that religious clergy are a capitalistic tool to enslave the people they purport to serve.

- When he realizes that he is to be shot, along with Belcher, he tries to make a deal with his captors. He is much more concerned with his own survival than with any fidelity to his side's cause. He argues desperately to be spared from his fate, right up to his execution.

Hope this helps. Thanks for the question!

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