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Character Role Analysis

Pedro Romero

Okay, so this sounds really cheesy, but Romero totally serves as a muse to those who can appreciate him. Montoya, Jake, and Brett all have a true understanding, whether learned or instinctive, of bull-fighting, and the three of them understand that Romero is something remarkable.

Montoya and Jake both see that he is different from the other bull-fighters—he possesses a pure, genuine talent that stands out in a sport gradually being taken over by drama queens and fakes. Romero’s performances in the ring inspire Jake/Hemingway to write some of the novel’s most exuberant, vibrant, and passionate prose.

Brett, the fledgling aficionado, is also inspired by Romero, but not to create art—he instead inspires true feeling in her. With Romero, we see Brett lose herself in passion for the first time in the book; instead of being the manipulator and enchantress of men, she is reduced to simply being a woman in love. He also inspires her to do the first and last decent(ish) thing she does in the novel—leave him. Brett realizes that she and Romero shouldn’t be together, and despite her feelings for him, she asks him to leave.