The main character of the short story “The Battler” by Ernest Hemingway is Nick Adams. He is the protagonist of the story, and the narration follows his point of view. Interestingly, Nick Adams is the protagonist of numerous other stories written by Hemingway. Nick is partly inspired by Hemingway's own experiences, and the stories he is featured in generally deal with initiation and growing up.

Adolf Francis is a secondary character in Ernest Hemingway’s short story. He is a violent character who, in this sense, follows the social role expected of men. The story suggests that Ad's violent behaviour is due to his head injuries and the emotional trauma he has suffered after his wife left him.

Bugs is another secondary character of the short story. He is black and accompanies and takes care of Ad. He is hospitable and generous towards Nick. Bugs' overall behaviour suggests he doesn't follow rigid social roles associated with African Americans and men in general.

You can read their characterisations in the next pages.