Adolf Francis

Outer characterisation

In “The Battler” by Ernest Hemingway, the character of Adolf, or Ad, is a former boxing champion (l. 158). He is married to a woman who worked as his manager (l. 220), but the two are separated.

He is short and has pale skin (l. 162) and blond hair (l. 247). He is missing an ear (l. 73), and his face is disfigured: “his face was misshapen. His nose was sunken, his eyes were slits, he had queer-shaped lips. (…) the man’s face was queerly formed and mutilated. It was like putty in color. Dead looking in the firelight” (ll. 65-68). Ad also has a limp: “The little man came toward him slowly, stepping flat-footed forward, his left foot stepping forward, his right dragging up to it” (ll. 180-181). Like the main character Nick, Ad is a sorry sight and marked by a hard life.

Inner characterisation

Ad exhibits an obsessive interest in violence. When he first meets Nick, Ad’s first question is regarding his injury (l. 49). Finding out the story behind it, Ad says that hurting Nick must have made the brakeman feel good (l. 56), which shows that Ad knows s...

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