The Round House

Father Travis Character Analysis

Father Travis is the head of the reservation’s parish. He is known as an edgy priest—a former Marine who likes to shoot prairie dogs in his spare time. Father Travis curses liberally and tries to throttle Cappy when he confesses to having had sex with Zelia in the church. Father Travis was originally Bazil and Joe’s primary suspect as Geraldine’s rapist, but when Joe confronts him about it, Father Travis makes it very clear that he had nothing to do with the rape. Nonetheless, Joe, Cappy, Angus, and Zack spy on Father Travis at home, noticing that his genitals are scarred (an injury, it turns out, from an attack on a U.S. Embassy). After he catches them spying, Father Travis gives the boys advice on women and dating, and he seems to imply that he became a priest because of his genital injury. Father Travis, whose personality seems ill suited for priesthood, is a point of humor in the book, as his character seems to mock the perceived righteousness of Christian clergy.

Father Travis Quotes in The Round House

The The Round House quotes below are all either spoken by Father Travis or refer to Father Travis. 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, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of The Round House published in 2013.
Chapter 10 Quotes

Every time there is an evil, much good comes of it— people in these circumstances choose to do an extra amount of good, show unusual love, become stronger in their devotion to Jesus… I have seen it in people who go their own ways, your traditionals, and never come to mass except for funerals… They come to the wakes. Even if they are so poor they have nothing, they give the last of their nothing to another human. We are never so poor that we cannot bless another human, are we? So it is that every evil, whether moral or material, results in good.

Related Characters: Father Travis (speaker), Joe Coutts
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Round House quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire The Round House LitChart as a printable PDF.
The round house.pdf.medium

Father Travis Character Timeline in The Round House

The timeline below shows where the character Father Travis appears in The Round House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Four: Loud as a Whisper
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
...boarding school). Bazil asks what the new parish priest is like, and Edward tells him Father Travis is a handsome ex-marine from Dallas who shoots prairie dogs in his spare time. The... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...his father not to worry about the ghost, and Bazil agrees. Joe suggests they recruit Father Travis to bless the yard to keep the ghost away, and Bazil realizes out loud that... (full context)
Chapter Five: The Naked Now
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...while Joe tells Angus about the conversation between Bazil and Edward the night before about Father Travis . Joe and Angus decide to go to mass to investigate Father Travis further. Together,... (full context)
Storytelling, Formality, and Writing Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Joe begins to dose off when he hears footsteps and opens his eyes to see Father Travis walking towards him. Father Travis tells Joe that one of the nuns saw him smoking... (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
When Father Travis is out of sight, Joe processes the interaction. Joe thinks he wants Father Travis dead... (full context)
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
...fight them off. Once they make it to the cemetery, they walk through it towards Father Travis ’s house. The boys arrive at the priest’s cottage, crawling under the windows so they... (full context)
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Father Travis leads them into the house and forces them to sit down. Furious, Father Travis mocks... (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Father Travis tells the boys that he believes they were spying on him because Joe thinks Father... (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Father Travis watches the boys silently for a minute before surmising that they want to know how... (full context)
Chapter Six: Datalore
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...their fight did not happen. Bazil tells Joe that he had an “interesting” conversation with Father Travis , and Joe tenses up, but it turns out Father Travis did not tell Bazil... (full context)
Chapter Eight: Hide and Q
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Storytelling, Formality, and Writing Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...best to make conversation. One night, Bazil tells Geraldine and Joe about a conversation with Father Travis in which he recounted his experience on the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated.... (full context)
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...begins to have a seizure. The boys bring him onshore and send Angus to fetch Father Travis . The boy (whose name turns out to be Neal) begins to come to and... (full context)
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...Angus make a series of comments with sexual innuendos. After the girl explains her experience, Father Travis talks about the difference between temptation and instinct, saying that temptation is a “slower process.”... (full context)
Chapter Nine: The Big Good-bye
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
...goes into the confession booth after Angus, and at first all is well, but then Father Travis and Cappy both burst out of the booth. Cappy runs and Father Travis tries to... (full context)
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Later, at Clemence’s house, Joe asks what Cappy was thinking when he told Father Travis about having sex in the church basement. Cappy says he was remembering their conversation with... (full context)
Chapter Ten: Skin of Evil
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
...the fight in the grocery store and imagines himself killing Linden. Joe decides to visit Father Travis the next morning under the guise of wanting to join catechism class, but really hoping... (full context)
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...an alcoholic and drifter, the only other person in the catechism class. Afterward, Joe asks Father Travis for personal instruction in order to be confirmed by the fall. Father Travis asks what... (full context)
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...to mass with Angus. Joe is the only one who stays for catechism class afterward. Father Travis gives Joe a book called Dune and they review some catechism basics. Father Travis suggests... (full context)
Storytelling, Formality, and Writing Theme Icon
...Linda. While he is resting in bed, he tries to read Dune, the book that Father Travis gave him, but instead ends up flinging it across the room. A long time later,... (full context)
Chapter Eleven: The Child
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
...don’t need the rapture anyway, since they have confession. The boys then reminisce about how Father Travis chased Cappy around after his confession about having sex with Zelia. Joe brings up the... (full context)