Central to any story is the use of characters which enables its author to interact with the audience. The first involvement between the audiences with a named story often develops when they read of different characters that are able to take hold of their interest, empathy and even sympathy as the story unfolds. Given the critical role that characterization taken in stories, authors have been able to exploit it for their advantage by coming up with characters who are able to be used to make the story happen as intended. To do so, different character types are used to “carry the story” (Longyear, 66). In an y given story, the author may use character of different types. These character types may include flat, dynamic, round and dynamic each having a definite behavior necessary in the story.
Types of characters
The use of characters varies from one story to another with the choice being the work of the writer who must choose the appropriate type of characters. Wright believes that “different kinds of stories have different kind of characters” and this explain why the different stories the paper will look at will depict the use of varying character type (Wright, 78). With different character having feeling and attitudes that of varying nature, the author of a story can exploit these attributes to bring out the several themes that make the story be what it is.
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The use of characters in a story is central in the understanding of the desire to have people in a given narratives who are able to be developed by the author using different presentation. With a given character at hand, the author can draw them before the readers using given traits that make the different from other characters in the story but most important able to develop out the story well. Given that character may not necessarily be people, author can have other character who may be robots of animals each having a given character type.
This is one type of character who have been used if different stories. If used in a story, this character is often depicted by the author to be in possession of multiple personalities. As a result of this attribute, it is widely known that characters that are of this type will always resemble real individuals (Griffith, 54). The use of round character has been centered on the ability to produce behavior that make them appear to be more lifelike as compared to the other character types for any given story. The one word that can be used to describe this character is realism where round characters display attributes that make them appear to be real.
A round character can also be defined as one whose personality has some degree of duality. Using this definition, authors of stories have been able to depict round character as those who can experience pleasure and pain or even enjoy popularity though they make sometime lack it and fall into loneliness. With the presence of a round character, the author of a story can engage the readers through an emotional experience that can touch the audience and therefore making the story to deliver impact to the target audience.
In “The story of an Hour”, Kate Choppin has used several character type to model the characters in the story. One of the widely is the round character which is represented in characters like Mr. Mullard. First, Mrs Mullard is one of the central characters in the story who is used by Choppin to move the course of the story more than the other characters. Through the story, the audiences are able have an interaction with the feeling and thought of the Mrs. Mullard who intrigues the readers. In the story also, the audience is able to realize the thoughts of Mrs. Mullard who wish that her husband could die. Although the death of her husband takes place later, the changes that take place before the death her death clearly illustrate the change that she experience which reveals her round character.
In any given story the use of flat character is meant to encourage the development of the main character in the story (Stoodt 37). Flat character are defined as those who have limited number of trait and are able to remain unchanged in the story as compared to a round character (Jacobs and Roberts 38). For this reason, some of the flat characters have been drawn as stereotypes that are able to stand firm and against any change in the status quo. The use of flat characters is critical in any story given that the authors often given very few information about them. The benefit of releasing little information and in a bit wise manner provides the author the opportunity to develop the main character with little interruption.
The use of flat character can be seen in different stories such as “the tell-tale Heart” written by Edgar Allen Poe. In this story, Poe uses the three policemen as flat characters who do not play a critical role in the story through their presence shapes the plot of the story. Poe’s story, the three policemen are quick at showing up to the house of the main character when suspicion was raised and they remained for a while.
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In “Miss Brill”, the young couple can also be regarded as flat characters given the little couple make Miss Brill come to her senses when she awakens to discover her real position in the society. The use of the couple has a significant role in Miss Brill as it gave the author an opportunity to depict the attributes of the protagonist despite them being used a lot. This role of the couple and their few interactions with the audience makes them to be flat characters.
In a story, the characters that are able to change in some way are considered to be having a dynamic character (Stoodt 38). This changes is often depicted in the end of the story as several incidents my cause them to be transformed in the course of the story. Some believe that dynamic characters are those that experience minor changes which may be internal and sudden as the story unfold before the audience (Gamble and Yates 84). With the use of dynamic character, the plot of the story is also developed.
In the story the “Rocking-horse winner” Paul’s mother is a dynamic character who undergoes transformation as the story come to an end. In the story, the audience gets to know of Paul’s mother as someone who is desperately in need of money and luck. As the story unfold, the audience get to realize that money was not all she wanted but luck that accompanies them. Despite her emphasis on money and luck, she does not get happy after all being that her son dies.
In “The Lottery” Shirley Jackson saw it fit to use Tessie Hutchinson as a dynamic character in her story. Hutchinson is known to have changed her attitude in the story in particular toward the lottery which she just saw as a way of people making fun in town. In the story, the winning of lottery by her husband transforms her making her understand the importance of pressure in life.
In a given story, static characters are those who do not experience any transformation in any basic way thought out the story (Lostracco and Wilkerson 33). As compared to other characters, a static character seems to be affected little by any experiences in a given story and thus remaining the same.
In the “Araby” by James Joyce, Mangan’s sister and some of her friend are static characters who are shown by the author from the inside of the story. These characters are considered to be static given that the story does not account of any transformation that they go through despite the experiences that other characters go through in the story as written by Joyce.
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