A Rumor of War

A Rumor of War

by

Philip Caputo

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Corporal José Gonzalez Character Analysis

The 3rd squad leader in the 2nd platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion of the 3rd Marines. Caputo describes him as “short, stock, pugnacious but likeable.” Gonzalez is the first casualty of the war in their platoon. He steps on a small antipersonnel mine and is “blasted into the air.” Caputo recalls how “his left foot turned into a mass of bruised and bloody meat inside the tatters of his boot.” He is carried to safety by Lance Corporal Sampson. Gonzalez has his foot amputated and recovers at the Oakland Naval Hospital.
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Corporal José Gonzalez Character Timeline in A Rumor of War

The timeline below shows where the character Corporal José Gonzalez appears in A Rumor of War. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Three
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
Loyalty and Camaraderie Theme Icon
Danger and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Caputo gets into a six-by with Gonzalez’s squad. They ride along for an hour or so, sharing “harsh jokes and laughter.” They... (full context)
Chapter Four
Loyalty and Camaraderie Theme Icon
Danger and Uncertainty Theme Icon
Corporal José Gonzalez becomes the first casualty when he is wounded late in the month. He is leading... (full context)
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
Loyalty and Camaraderie Theme Icon
The company misses Gonzalez after his departure—not only because of his own wonderful qualities but because he is one... (full context)