Guests of the Nation


Frank O’Connor

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Guests of the Nation Characters


Bonaparte is the thoughtful, sensitive first-person narrator, telling the story in past tense from some unspecified point in the future. He’s a young soldier in the Irish Republican Army who, along with Noble and Jeremiahread analysis of Bonaparte


Noble is a young soldier of comparable rank to Bonaparte who also takes a liking to the British prisoners. His brother is a priest, so he’s a religious believer. This puts him at odds with… read analysis of Noble


Belcher is a British prisoner of war. He’s a tall, quiet, and kind man whose wife and children left him years ago. As a result, he’s eager to make a home even out of his… read analysis of Belcher


‘Awkins is a British prisoner of war, who, unlike Belcher, is outspoken and quick-tempered. He is constantly sparring with the old woman and Noble over religion or global capitalism. He doesn’t put much faith… read analysis of ‘Awkins

Jeremiah Donovan

Jeremiah is Bonaparte and Noble’s superior officer in the Irish army. Jeremiah is stern, quiet, and awkward, and Bonaparte privately looks down on him for his rural manners and accent. He avoids getting too friendly… read analysis of Jeremiah Donovan
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The Old Woman

The woman Bonaparte refers to as “the old woman” is never named. She opens up her home to the Irish soldiers and their British prisoners but doesn’t seem happy about the arrangement. Her religious beliefs… read analysis of The Old Woman
Minor Characters
Feeney is a minor figure whose presence is noted but who doesn’t speak in the story. He’s an Irish intelligence agent who, it is implied, orders and oversees the execution of the British prisoners.