Title: Tortilla Flat Author: John Steinbeck
I. An Examination of Characters:
Jesus Maria Corcoran: Jesus Maria Corcoran is one of Danny's friends. He very nice and “kindness is always in him”. It is Jesus Maria who makes the rash promise that the friends will ensure that there is always food in the house for Danny. He readily comes to the aid of the corporal with the sick baby. He also befriends and helps Teresina Cortez when he discovers that she and her young children do not have anything to eat. He is, as the narrator says, "irresistibly drawn to relieve pain and suffering.”
The Corporal: The corporal is a young boy of sixteen who flees with his sick baby to Monterey from Mexico after a captain in the army steals his wife. Jesus Maria befriends him. The boy has no thoughts of revenge against the officer all he wants is the best for his son.
Teresina Cortez: Teresina Cortez is a young woman about thirty with nine children. Her husband left her when she was about sixteen, and the babies have had a number of different men for fathers. Teresina feeds her family entirely on beans and tortillas, but they are healthy in spite of their limited diet.
Danny: Danny is the leader of the group of paisanos, his house serving as the “Round Table of King Arthur and his knights.” Danny was born and raised in Tortilla Flat. At the age of twenty-five he joins the army to fight in World War I, although he ends up in Texas breaking mules. After the war, he is lucky enough to inherit two houses after his grandfather dies, but he does not really want the responsibility of being a property owner. Danny is a generous man who is capable of deep and lasting friendship, which is why no less than five of his friends end up living at his house. But Danny eventually tires of that life they lead and tries to recapture the wild spirit of his former days. When he disappears from their home, his friends think he has gone crazy and try to capture