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Tortilla Flat | Characters

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Character Description
Danny Danny, a carefree paisano, inherits two houses from his grandfather and decides to share his newfound wealth with a group of friends. The friends become improbable heroes, but the pressure of ownership is too much for Danny. Read More
Pilon Pilon is a leader among Danny's friends, a highly logical thinker and planner who can always figure out how to have a good time without breaking the moral codes of Tortilla Flat. After benefiting from Danny's generosity, Pilon's plans become increasingly likely to benefit others, not just himself. Read More
Pablo Pablo, another of Danny's close friends, has an artistic mindset. He often adds a romantic flair to Pilon's schemes. Read More
Jesus Maria Corcoran Jesus Maria is Danny's gentlest and kindest friend. He dislikes seeing other people in pain and often attempts to offer help to anyone in trouble. Read More
Big Joe Portagee Big Joe is the roughest and most callous of Danny's friends. He lives by no moral code and has no qualms about taking what he wants when he wants it. Read More
The Pirate The Pirate is a mentally challenged man who lives with his five dogs and works hard to earn a quarter every day. He never spends money, so he is in possession of a large treasure that Danny's friends initially try to steal but later work to protect. Read More
The corporal The corporal, also referred to in Spanish as the caporál, is the loving father of a sick baby who ends up dying.
Angelica Cortez Angelica Cortez, the mother of Teresina Cortez, cares for her daughter's children and prays to the Virgin Mary to keep her family fed.
Teresina Cortez Teresina Cortez is the mother of nine children, and she is pregnant with a tenth child by the end of her appearance in the story. Her family lives almost entirely on beans, which she considers "proper food" for children.
Danny's grandfather Danny's grandfather never appears in the action of the story, but he initiates the action by dying and leaving two houses to Danny.
Galvez Galvez is the owner of a bad bulldog who runs loose around Tortilla Flat.
Arabella Gross Arabella Gross is briefly Jesus Maria's girlfriend, but she runs off with a group of soldiers.
Tia Ignacia Tia Ignacia is a middle-aged Tortilla Flat woman and briefly Big Joe's lover.
Chin Kee Chin Kee owns a squid yard and pays people two dollars per day to clean squid for him.
Rudolfo Keeling Rudolfo Keeling died falling into a quarry, and he occasionally appears in other characters' stories as evidence of the fleeting nature of life.
Jake Lake Jake Lake is a police officer who sees Big Joe and Tia Ignacia having sex in the street.
Rosa Martin Rosa Martin is a "Portagee"—or Portuguese—girl the friends hear is dating Danny. Pilon and Pablo worry that Danny will marry Rosa and start charging them rent to pay for her needs.
Mrs. Morales Mrs. Morales is Danny's next-door neighbor and occasional lover. She has some money, and it is implied that she appreciates Danny more for his wealth and social position than for his personality.
Emilio Murietta Emilio Murietta, one of Cornelia Ruiz's many boyfriends, gives her a little pig as a gift. This puts him in her favor until the pig tears up her house, and then she hates Emilio.
Johnny Pom-pom Johnny Pom-pom is a friend of Danny's who enters into the adventures near the end of the story.
Tito Ralph Tito Ralph is the jailer in Monterey. A former criminal, he often drinks with the inmates and lets them escape, or he forgets he is the jailer and "escapes" himself.
Sweets Ramirez Dolores Engracia Ramirez is commonly called "Sweets" because of her sexual nature. Danny buys her a vacuum cleaner and briefly elevates her social status above virtually all other women in Tortilla Flat.
Father Ramon Father Ramon is Tortilla Flat's priest. He preaches about Saint Francis after the Pirate buys a gold candlestick, and he attends Danny's death.
Mr. Ravanno Mr. Ravanno, also called Old Man Ravanno, tries to do everything his son Petey does. He attempts to stage a suicide attempt to make a teenage girl love him, but he accidentally succeeds in killing himself.
Petey Ravanno Petey Ravanno, Mr. Ravanno's son, is always in trouble. He tries to kill himself when a teenage girl refuses to date him, and she feels so bad about it she ends up marrying him.
Cornelia Ruiz Cornelia Ruiz is a constant focus of Tortilla Flat gossip because of her scandalous affairs and violent breakups.
Tall Bob Smoke Tall Bob Smoke pretends to try to kill himself because he is tired of being ridiculed and wants people to feel bad for him. He ends up shooting off the tip of his nose.
Torrelli Torrelli, who sells alcohol to Danny and his friends, values wealth and prestige in a way they do not. He is their primary enemy.
Mrs. Torrelli Mrs. Torrelli helps with her husband's business, but there is not much antipathy between her and Danny's friends. Sometimes Danny's friends seduce her when her husband is out.
Angelina Vasquez Angelina Vasquez died from eating a bad can of fish. She occasionally appears in the main characters' stories as evidence of the fleeting nature of life.
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