Half Broke Horses


Jeannette Walls

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Fidel Hanna Character Analysis

A teenage ranch hand working for Lily and Jim, and a member of the Havasupai tribe. Lily describes him as “a tall, good-looking boy” and notices that Rosemary develops a crush on him. Fidel agrees to show Clarice Pearl and Marion Finch around the Havasupai reservation, though he resents the prejudiced way they treat Native Americans. Well-meaning white people took him from the reservation and sent him to school as a child, but he says this simply made him feel like he does not fit in with the Havasupai or the rest of the world. He is caught swimming with Rosemary on the reservation, after which Miss Pearl says she will report him. He then joins the army. Lily later hears that he has been traumatized by the war and upon his return shoots up a Hopi village. After serving time in prison, his own tribe will not allow him to return, and he lives as an outcast by himself on a corner of the reservation.

Fidel Hanna Quotes in Half Broke Horses

The Half Broke Horses quotes below are all either spoken by Fidel Hanna or refer to Fidel Hanna . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Women’s Strength in a Man’s World Theme Icon
Chapter 9 Quotes

I felt there was a lot more I could say about the subject of danger. I could have given her an entire lecture on it, talking about my dad getting his head staved in by a horse when he was three, about my Chicago friend Minnie getting killed when her hair got caught in machinery, about my sister, Helen, taking her own life after accidentally getting pregnant. Life came with as much adventure and danger as any one body needed. You didn't have to go chasing after them. But the fact of the matter was, Rosemary hadn't really listened to what I had to say ever since that time we visited the Havasupai and I gave her the whipping for swimming with Fidel Hanna.

Page Number: 257
Explanation and Analysis:
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Fidel Hanna Character Timeline in Half Broke Horses

The timeline below shows where the character Fidel Hanna appears in Half Broke Horses. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
Women’s Strength in a Man’s World Theme Icon
Connection to Nature Theme Icon
...life. Rosemary is now thirteen, “quite a looker,” and smitten with a Havasupai cowboy named Fidel Hanna. Lily tells her to watch herself around cowboys. (full context)
Poverty and the American Dream Theme Icon
...drive her and a nurse to a Havasupai village to investigate hygiene standards. Lily asks Fidel Hanna, who lives on the reservation, to help. He says they are “coming to inspect... (full context)
Poverty and the American Dream Theme Icon
...explain some background about local tribal traditions while she drives, but the officials are dismissive. Fidel and his friends guide them the rest of the way to the village on horseback.... (full context)
Women’s Strength in a Man’s World Theme Icon
...next night Lily wakes to discover that Rosemary had snuck out to go swimming with Fidel and his friends in her underwear. Clarice Pearl found her and angrily dragged her back.... (full context)
Women’s Strength in a Man’s World Theme Icon
Poverty and the American Dream Theme Icon
When Clarice Pearl threatens to report Fidel for indecency with a minor, Fidel joins the army. He is later traumatized by the... (full context)
Chapter 9
Fate vs. Self-Reliance  Theme Icon
...that Rosemary has not really listened to her ever since the whipping for swimming with Fidel Hanna. (full context)