Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Danny, a paisano in his early thirties. His heritage is a mixture of Spanish, Indian, Mexican, and Caucasian, but, like all paisanos, he claims to be purely Spanish. He is small, dark, and compact in build. Danny is without conventional ambition but is intelligent and capable. He broke mules for the army in Texas during World War I. After his return from the war, Danny inherits two wooden houses from his grandfather, but property brings responsibility and worry, and security brings boredom, brooding, and restlessness: Danny likes women and fighting. He is the King Arthur of the round table of paisanos of Monterey.


Pilon (pee-LOHN), a paisano who is a tenant in one of Danny’s houses. Smarter than most of the others, Pilon is a sentimentalist, though utterly without ambition. He is a cunning thief and rationalizer. Pilon also served in World War I.

Big Joe Portagee

Big Joe Portagee, another paisano tenant in one of Danny’s houses. He had joined the infantry in World War I but spent eighteen of twenty-nine months in jail. He loves women, drinking, and brawling, and he is less intelligent than his friends. He has trouble concentrating and often falls asleep at inopportune times. He is nearly without morality because he has trouble remembering right from wrong.

Jesus Maria Corcoran

Jesus Maria Corcoran...

(The entire section is 616 words.)