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Questions tagged [character-analysis]

Questions relating to the analysis of characters in works of literature: for example, their traits, construction, or other aspects. This tag should be used together with any relevant work, series, or author tags.

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How to understand Doña Vera's decision to flee Austria for Mexico?

One of the major characters in Anita Desai's The Zigzag Way is Doña Vera, the Austrian widow of a Mexican silver baron. The couple had met and married in Vienna just prior to the outbreak of World War ...
verbose's user avatar
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Why does Heep refer to Copperfield sometimes as mister and sometimes as master?

In Dickens' David Copperfield, the character Uriah Heep refers to David sometimes as "Mister Copperfield" and sometimes as "Master Copperfield." Other times, he makes a point to ...
nuggethead's user avatar
4 votes
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Is the character named Laarmans supposed to be the same person across Elsschot's œuvre?

The protagonist and first-person narrator of Elsschot's delicious Cheese (1933) is a hapless clerk named Frans Laarmans who finds himself unexpectedly tasked with selling twenty tons of imported full-...
verbose's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why does Sir Walter comment that Colonel Wallis is "not an ill-looking man" in "Persuasion"?

In Jane Austen's Persuasion, when explaining the backstory of the estranged cousin Mr. Elliot , who is seeking a reconcilliation, we are given this description of a friend of Mr. Elliot: The ...
Mithical's user avatar
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How does the Crofts' style of driving reflect on their general guidance of affairs?

In Jane Austen's Persuasion, when Anne Elliot is getting a ride with Mrs. and Admiral Croft, she makes this observation about the Crofts' way of driving, and that is may represent a more general ...
Mithical's user avatar
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1 vote
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What roles do the minor characters play in 'Of Mice and Men'? [closed]

The minor characters (characters except George and Lennie) highlight the themes of the story (the theme of barriers (freedom and confinement) and the theme of dreams) by creating tension and ...
black star's user avatar
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73 views

Why did the Superintendent compare Smiley to an abbey?

From John Le Carré's Smiley's People: An abbey, the Superintendent decided. That’s what he was, an abbey. He would work that into his sermon the next time his turn came around. An abbey, made up of ...
Silent Sojourner's user avatar
1 vote
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49 views

The Call In Leadership and Literature [closed]

Some of the greatest books I have ever read are in the Book of the Dun Cow novel series, where the main character is a rooster in charge who keeps time in the barnyard through his canonical hour crows ...
theboombody's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
911 views

Does Mary Bennet undergo any sort of character development in "Pride and Prejudice"?

In Pride and Prejudice, of the five Bennet sisters, the one we see the least of is Mary. (Her name appears fewer than forty times in the whole book.) Mary has a reputation for sitting with her books, ...
Mithical's user avatar
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4 votes
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Are Thomas Bernhard's (highly critical) opinions of other German/Austrian authors in "Extinction" his own?

I've been reading "Extinction" (Auslöschung) by Bernhard, in which the main character (Franz-Josef Murau) expounds, highly critically, on Goethe, Thomas Mann, Musil, etc. All of them are ...
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Why does Percival Everett change the relationship of Carolyn Bryant and J W Milam in The Trees?

The character Granny C in Percival Everett's The Trees represents an aged Carolyn Bryant, the woman whose dubious claim that Emmett Till whistled at her led to his brutal murder. In real life, the men ...
verbose's user avatar
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Why is Reepicheep so heroic?

Reepicheep the Talking Mouse is probably the most courageous and valiant character in the entire Narnia series. Many times, in the books where he appears (Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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1 vote
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In Patchett's 'Commonwealth', why doesn't Spencer tell Fix about Beverly's affair?

Here is a follow-up to my previous question about Ann Patchett's Commonwealth. I'm unclear about Dick Spencer's role in concealing the affair that Bert Cousins is having with Beverly Keating. Spencer ...
verbose's user avatar
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5 votes
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In The Master and Margarita, who is Koroviev and what is the nature of his sin?

This question involves minor spoilers for The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov. Koroviev is one of Woland's entourage, and ostensibly serves as his translator. However, unlike the other characters ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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Greek Alexander Romance - Plot device or other function of Alexander's surreptitious stealing of Persian drinking cups?

In one of the more common form factors of the Greek Alexander Romance (by Pseudo-Callisthenes), we have this passage, located in Book II, 15: As they began to drink more deeply, Alexander had an idea:...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
274 views

When did Ja'far ibn Yahya start being portrayed as an evil vizier?

Ja'far ibn Yahya or Ja'far al-Barmaki was an 8th century vizier of the caliph Harun al-Rashid. From a distinguished central Asian family, he was known for his knowledge of science, as well as his ...
Adam Burke's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
3k views

Who is Mrs LeFay in "The Magician's Nephew"?

In The Magician’s Nephew, Andrew refers to his godmother, Mrs LeFay, who gave him the powder he used to make the rings. Other than this and a reference to her possessing "fairy blood", ...
LeoValdez's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
450 views

Is Emma's preoccupation with class and station typical of the time period or an aspect of her character?

In Jane Austen's Emma, the titular character is shown to spend a lot of time and effort thinking about class, rank, and station in society. She's worried about mixing with the lower classes, and ...
Mithical's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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What character traits define Ibsen’s Brand?

(I am not asking this for a school assignment. I’m not in school.) I have not read Brand carefully. I want an introductory sense of if the content of the play accords with my understanding so far. I ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
370 views

Who is the protagonist and antagonist in the myth of Creation of Seasons by Dene?

I am a high school student who has to do a presentation on a myth. I have to explain the details of the myth such as the plot, conflict etc. It is very straightforward. Here is the myth. There are 2 &...
Mathematician's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
98 views

What is the significance of the ending of this short story "In the Wheels"?

The short story "In the Wheels" (available in full at that link, perhaps a 10-15 minute read) is mostly about car racing with a speculative-fiction twist, but there's a surprising (to me) ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does Nick love Gatsby?

I recently asked this question: What is the significance of Nick being gay in the Great Gatsby? In the time before I got an answer I arrived to a conclusion similar to what answerer (@Peter Shor) did. ...
iceninja21's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
10k views

Jordan's line about intimate parties in The Great Gatsby?

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” When I read this quote from Jordan Baker I was (and am) puzzled as to the meaning. It seems like ...
iceninja21's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the significance of Nick being gay in The Great Gatsby?

On Literature SE there seems to be a general consensus that in the Great Gatsby the narrator, Nick Carraway, is gay (or at the very least sexually ambiguous). What does "the master's body&...
iceninja21's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
63 views

In Outer Dark, is the Tinker a good man?

He finds the infant and seems to want to take care of it. On the other hand, when we later encounter the child, it shows signs of grievous injury that it seems must have occurred (or probably) while ...
releseabe's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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In the Great Gatsby does Gatsby want Daisy because he is obsessed with wealth/prestige or does he want wealth because he is obsessed with Daisy?

At some points throughout the novel Daisy is objectified or otherwise synonymized with money (such as when her voice was described to be full of money). This, coupled with Gatsby's clear ambition from ...
iceninja21's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
128 views

Where is it indicated that Charlotte has difficulty choosing between Albert and Werther?

I read The Sorrows of Young Werther for my literature class (our translation was from Corngold and its title substituted "Sufferings" for "Sorrows", but it's the same story). For a ...
bobble's user avatar
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1 vote
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Inspiration behind Harlan Page Hasley’s depiction of old sleuth with superhuman strength

What inspired the author to portray a dime novel detective old sleuth as someone who possessed superhuman strength?
Clifton stone's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
91 views

History of Nick carter’s villain Dr Quartz’s creation

What inspired the creation of Nick Carter's villain Dr. Quartz? He is described to be an evil vivisectionist so smart that he is versed in every branch of science and usually enjoys cutting women’s ...
Clifton stone's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
1k views

The Glass Menagerie: Laura's fate

Is the ending of The Glass Menagerie (Tennessee Williams) tragic for Laura? The tragedy of Tom is plain to see; he is out living his dream but cannot enjoy a second of it because of his overwhelming ...
Senil Barre's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
129 views

Why does Georgia connect so well with the clown's song?

In Alice Oseman's Loveless, after several failed scenes where Georgia has difficulty acting romantic roles, Pip gets her to try being the clown in Twelfth Night. This goes swimmingly: "Come away,...
bobble's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Satan's motivation in Paradise Lost

In Paradise Lost, Milton gave an explicit motivation for Satan's rebellion against God. All the angels were called the sons of God and thought of themselves as such, but then God called all the angels ...
Tom Huntington's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
62 views

In "To Have and Have Not", what is Harry Morgan's motivation to betray the Chinese immigrants?

Having just reread Hemingway's novel To Have and Have Not, I'm fuzzy on the protagonist's motive for his betrayal of the Chinese immigrants. It's not hard to understand why this former cop has turned ...
X Y's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
91 views

Does Faustus start with heroic dignity?

Does Faustus start out with heroic dignity in Christopher Marlowe’s play Doctor Faustus? Does he lose this dignity with his tragic error of making a terrible deal with the Devil? I came across an exam ...
user392289's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
84 views

Why is Hedda unable to free herself from the constraints of domesticity, while Thea is able to?

In Hedda Gabler, there exists the character foil of Hedda and Thea. Both of the characters have entered into marriages which have inhibited them from forming a 'free' sense of self and which reduce ...
Wesley1293's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
184 views

Is a book featuring a non-self aware Mary Sue automatically considered to be poor quality?

Is a book where the main character fulfills all of the criteria for being a Mary Sue, and where the trope is played straight rather than for illustrative or satirical purposes (for example, the ...
Aaargh Zombies's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
173 views

How could the old woman's lover become rich, if it goes against the play's comic project?

I just finished reading Pluto by Aristophanes. The comic project of the play is to obtain a more fair distribution of richness which is at the beginning given only to dishonest people (or to people ...
mattiav27's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
182 views

What does the name "Hodel" mean?

In Isaac Bashevis Singer's short story "The Primper", Adele's real name is "Hodel": Her two sisters and three brothers married in due time, but she, Adele - her real name was ...
Mithical's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
461 views

Why does Odysseus decide to leave without Philoktetes?

I am reading James Scully's translation of Philoktetes (also known as Philoctetes), in The Complete Plays of Sophocles, translated by Robert Bagg & James Scully. At one point, after getting ...
bobble's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
259 views

Did P.G. Wodehouse ever parody Rex Stout?

An acquaintance with a silly nickname rings to beg that the narrator take his place at a charity dinner put on by his aunt. That summary could describe the beginnings of several Bertie Wooster stories ...
Anton Sherwood's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
51 views

What do the names of Yasha's animals in "The Magician of Lublin" say about him?

In Isaac Bashevis Singer's The Magician of Lublin, our main character Yasha named his horses "Kara" and "Shiva", and refers to them as "Dust" and "Ashes: He need ...
Mithical's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
34 views

How did Henchard change after the auction incident?

In the novel The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, how was Henchard a changed person after the auction incident?
Sumamah's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
137 views

"The Rocking Horse Winner" Characterization

I'm trying to analyze the characters Basset, Oscar, Hester, and Paul in D.H. Lawrence's short story "The Rocking Horse Winner", to know which ones are round characters and which ones are ...
Arnelius's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
483 views

Did Satan feel genuine remorse for his actions and compassion for his subordinates?

Related: Is John Milton's Lucifer a tragic hero? Towards the end of book 1 (starting around line 600 in my edition), Satan addresses his followers. Above them all th' Arch-Angel: but his face ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
759 views

What do the names of the Decameron characters signify?

The Wikipedia page for the Decameron claims (without citations) that: Boccaccio himself notes that the names he gives for these ten characters are in fact pseudonyms chosen as "appropriate to ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
87 views

Do the young women and men of the Decameron represent the Virtues and sections of the soul?

The Wikipedia page on the Decameron claims that: Many details of the Decameron are infused with a medieval sense of numerological and mystical significance.[9] For example, it is widely believed[by ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
189 views

What is Paul's character based on in "Code Name Verity"?

One of the major supporting characters in Code Name Verity is Paul, leader of the Damask resistance circuit. A superb organizer, he takes pride in how he'd never lost anyone in his circuit (before ...
bobble's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
955 views

Why doesn't Shams give Kimya any closure?

Shams rejects Kimya and she dies. Why doesn't he comfort her, explain why he doesn't want to make love to her, or in some other way acknowledge her love? I expected them to have some kind of heart-to-...
Eris's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
353 views

What exactly drove Humbert’s preference for preteens?

In the first four chapters, our narrator Humbert, after explaining his backstory, relates an experience in which he met, in his youth, a girl he was friends with. He even had a kind of relationship, ...
Sudeep Stauble's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
100 views

What links Lily Briscoe's desire in To The Lighthouse to the desire of the old man in Slave Old Man?

The two books being compared are To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf and Slave Old Man (or The Old Slave and the Mastiff) by Patrick Chamoiseau. I have to write a thesis but am having a hard time ...
Harikrishna Jani's user avatar

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