Jean is the clear protagonist. He is the main character, and everything we see is filtered through his unreliable and hilarious point of view. There are two main layers to Jean as protagonist. Jean the nineteen-year old kid in 1939 dominates the main layer of the story. That layers is "framed" by the older narrator's experience of writing the story in memory of Bobby, who died in 1947. This keeps us constantly trying to figure out if a given moment is through the perspective of young Jean, older Jean, or both.