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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Was Newt Scamander inspired by Radagast the Brown?

As the title says. Is there a connection between Rowling's Newt Scamander, a wizard zoologist, and Radagast the Brown? Being the latter one of the five magicians of Tolkien's Middle Earth, and the one ...
2 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
3 votes
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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 ...
-1 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
3 votes
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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 ...
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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?
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"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 ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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-...
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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, ...
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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 ...
10 votes
1 answer
496 views

What is the significance of Grendel being descended from Cain?

In the tale of Beowulf, the monster Grendel is said to be descended from the biblical character of Cain. This was surprising to me, as I'd thought Beowulf was a pre-Christian story given its setting ...
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5 votes
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Why is Jacques Kohn wearing a "father-murderer" collar?

In the description of Jacques Kohn in the beginning of Isaac Bashevis Singer's "A Friend of Kafka", he's described as wearing this: Although he still dressed in the style of a dandy, his ...
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1 answer
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Why did Gatsby say "This is a terrible mistake" in "The Great Gatsby"?

In chapter 5 of The Great Gatsby, when Gatsby reunited with Daisy, he (Gatsby) followed Nick into the kitchen: “Where are you going?” demanded Gatsby in immediate alarm. “I’ll be back.” “I’ve got to ...
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What did Vin mean by leaving Mare's flower picture for Sazed?

Mistborn series book 3, The Hero of Ages, end of chapter 10, as Vin leaves Sazed: She left him alone in the tent. A few moments later, he returned to his shaving, and found something sitting beside ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What is the use of Mr. Hurst in "Pride and Prejudice"?

Mr. Hurst is like a shadow or thin air, saying nothing and doing nothing more than eating, so he has no use in the development of the whole story. Why does the author put such a man in the novel?
14 votes
1 answer
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Does Thomas the Tank Engine have free will?

In the story Thomas Comes to Breakfast, from Branch Line Engines by the Rev. W Awdry, Thomas's driver tells him: "You know just where to stop, Thomas! You could almost manage without me!" ...
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What's the significance of The Idiot in Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian?

Toward the end of Blood Meridian, the gang encounters a man whose brother is so severely disabled that he is kept naked in a cage. Obviously, this character cannot speak and does not contribute to the ...
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1 answer
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Is the Erewhonian Nosnibor a satire on a real person?

The novel Erewhon published by Samuel Butler in 1872 is said to be one of the first dystopian novels. The middle section of the book reads as a satire on the English Judicial system. By making the ...
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In Brave New World, how does Mustapha Mond get his red lips?

I never quite understood why Mustapha Mond had red lips. In Chapter 3 it states, On the fringe of the little group stood a stranger- a man of middle height, black-haired, with a hooked nose, full red ...
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1 answer
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Can Byronic heroes be funny?

I'm learning about the different hero archetypes. As far as I know, Byronic heroes are charismatic, passionate, and flawed, among others. But can they be humorous? I can't think of any examples off of ...
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Katherine Anne Porter's "HE": What is He?

I recently read Katherine Anne Porter's "He", and, after reading it twice, am still left in the dark about one thing. It is said that "Rolls of fat covered Him like an overcoat", ...
7 votes
2 answers
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Are Tigris in The Hunger Games and Tigris in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes the same person?

In Mockingjay, the third book in The Hunger Games series, there is a minor character named Tigris. She is the owner of a shop in which Katniss and her team of soldiers take refuge during the assault ...
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Why does Sir Harry like Matthias's poem and not Basil's?

In Mattimeo, Chapter 29, the rescuers' party encounters Sir Harry, an owl who speaks in poetry for much of his dialogue. For one example, this is how he introduces himself: "Why, pray, do you ...
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4 votes
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How does Bacchus fit into the Christian allegory of Narnia?

The setting and story of The Chronicles of Narnia are strongly linked to Christianity: Aslan, who sacrifices himself for a traitor in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe before returning to life, ...
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Was Ewing Klipspringer supposed to be a gay character in "The Great Gatsby"?

Was Ewing Klipspringer supposed to be a gay character in "The Great Gatsby"? My theory is that he is gay, considering there is textual evidence, and that he lives in Gatsby's home. Here are ...
3 votes
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Was Esther Summerson pleasantly surprised or otherwise at being presented the housekeeping keys of Bleak House?

In Chapter VI of Bleak House, Esther Summerson, Ada Clare and Richard Carstone are just arrived at Bleak House and introduced to John Jarndyce. A conversation touching on the Jellybys, the east wind, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How does Resa becoming a swift reflect on her character in "Inkdeath"?

In Inkdeath, the third book in the Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke, Resa uses seeds that turn the user into an animal. In Resa's case, she turns into a swift: It was easy to fly, so easy. The ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Is Raymond having an affair with Masson's wife?

When Raymond, Meursault, and Marie went to visit Raymond's friend, Masson, they decide to go to swim after a brief time but Masson's wife and Raymond refuse the idea and rather stay at the bungalow. ...
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Why did Louka despise Raina from the very beginning of Shaws Arms and the Man?

In Shaw's play Arms and the Man, Louka, Raina’s maid, had somewhat bitter feelings for her mistress Raina. Why? From the first Act the dialogues of Louka do show her resentment (although it is subtle) ...
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Why did Sue want to go back to Phillotson?

In the novel Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy, Sue was broken after the death of her children. She went to their graves and wept even on the insistence of Jude to go back to the lodge. Jude was broken ...
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Did Henchard sell his wife in "The Mayor of Casterbridge" only because he was drunk?

In the novel The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, Michael Henchard auctioned his wife in a bar and sold her to a sailor named Newson for five guineas along with his infant daughter. As far as ...
2 votes
1 answer
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How was Jude obscure in Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure?

I have recently completed the novel Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy and as always the title left me baffled. In the whole novel it was Sue who seems (if one just uses one's own viewpoint and judges ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Who was Sue’s mother?

Jude was in his Aunt’s room, he was a little heavy with his head due to Arabella’s leaving, and on a table he found a photo of a beautiful little girl. Upon inquiring with his Aunt, he came to know ...
2 votes
1 answer
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What was the relation between Stephano and Trinculo?

The two funny characters, Stephano and Trinculo, in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, fight with each other when Ariel was speaking behind Trinculo when Caliban and Stephano were talking. I want to know ...
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1 answer
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Why did Pierre want to assassinate Napoleon?

Pierre’s friend Andrei was shown to have great respect for Napoleon, as his view on historic events being the will of a few important people is embodied best by Napoleon. While lying wounded on the ...
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1 answer
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Why is Clem Weatherby described as a "technical expert on railroads" in Atlas Shrugged?

At one point in Atlas Shrugged, Dagny Taggart is in a meeting with various government officials. At one point during the meeting, the book remarks that [Dagny Taggart] noticed that Clem Weatherby, ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Is either Rhoda Brook or Gertrude Lodge portrayed negatively in "The Withered Arm"?

Thomas Hardy's short story "The Withered Arm" (freely available to read online) revolves largely around two female characters, Rhoda Brook and Gertrude Lodge, the two "viewpoint" ...
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Is there a significance to Valkyrja's powerset?

In April Daniels's Nemesis series, the character Valkyrja/Karen has an unusual, very specific array of powers: I can sense where things that open the way are... Also people who are about to die, and ...
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11 votes
2 answers
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What is King Darzin?

One of the El-ahrairah stories told in Watership Down features someone called King Darzin, but it's not clear what sort of animal (or even human?) he's supposed to be. Now, King Darzin ruled over the ...
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Is there any example of a hero saluting his fallen adversary and regretting the need to vanquish him? [closed]

Is there any instance of a hero who, after having killed his enemy, rues having had to do so? I'm looking for a specific instance from epic literature (but willing to accept answers from outside that ...
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Why is Chingachgook regarded as a romantic character?

In The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757 Chingachgook is a romantic character. He lives in harmony with nature and is loyal and brave. However, I am having trouble finding a quotation or ...

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