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Questions tagged [character-analysis]

For questions about how characters act or are constructed by authors.

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Is John Milton's Lucifer a tragic hero?

Loosely related: Was Paradise Lost the first major work of literature to give "sympathy for the devil"? In Paradise Lost, Lucifer/Satan appears to have at least some heroic characteristics, ...
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3answers
117 views

How is Wainamoinen “old” at the start of the second Rune?

At the end of the first rune of the Kalevala (Crawford's translation), Wainamoinen has just been born. These are the last four lines of this rune: Thus our hero, Wainamoinen, Thus the wonderful ...
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27 views

Does imitation play any role in child language acquisition? [migrated]

Sociolinguistics and Psycholinguistics: Does imitation play any role in child language acquisition?
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1answer
43 views

Why does the boy-next-door raise objections about the racist remarks that the others are making?

Why does the boy-next-door raise objections about the racist remarks that his yippie friends make in the introductory chapters? Bateman does it twice in quick succession as if to show the reader that ...
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1answer
449 views

What is meant to be gleaned from Patrick Bateman's love of specific musicians in American Psycho?

I've just finished reading American Psycho, and I'm confused why the book took the time to devote entire chapters to Bateman's love of different 80's artists. Specifically, Bateman spends upwards of ...
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1answer
54 views

Inconsistencies in the character of Horatio in Hamlet

In the Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet, Horatio is a friend and "fellow student" of the eponymous prince. A meticulous reading of the text will reveal certain apparent inconsistencies in the depiction ...
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1answer
124 views

Why did the Witches give the prophecy in the first place?

The 3 Witches prophecied to Macbeth that he would be king, thus setting the play into motion. Why did they do that? Did they realize that they were basically giving a self-fulfilling prophecy, and ...
4
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1answer
816 views

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time: How much does Mrs Alexander know?

In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time one of the characters, Mrs Alexander, reveals to Christopher that his mother and Mr Shears were having an affair. Later, however, she seems ...
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1answer
69 views

In Penelope Fitzgerald’s short story The Prescription, significance of “Knowledge is good, but what is the use of knowledge without honesty?”

In Penelope Fitzgerald’s short story The Prescription (1982), Dr. Mehmet Bey almost kills his 14-year-old apprentice, Alecco, by forcing him to drink a poisoned prescription after discovering the boy ...
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24 views

How is the theme of innocence featured in the Turn of the Screw?

I noticed that in the novel The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, there is a theme of innocence. It's really shown through how the governess perceives Miles and Flora at first, but then as she ...
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1answer
193 views

What is the significance of Sauron never having a physical presence in the Lord of the Rings?

So I noticed that in Lord of the Rings Sauron acts as a very interesting villain. He never makes a corporeal appearance, nor does he have any acting dialogue. He's mentioned plenty of times through ...
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2answers
305 views

Does Nausicaä not develop as a character at all?

There will be spoilers regarding characters from the end of the manga here. In Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no Tani no Naushika) manga, the characters are usually ...
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0answers
24 views

Why does Liesel ignore Max at first in “The Book Thief”?

In The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Liesel Meminger and Max Vandenburg have an interesting relationship: at first, Liesel ignores Max and is hesitant to to talk to him. Then, for some reason, the two ...
9
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1answer
604 views

The real-life inspiration for the characters of Atlas Shrugged?

Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is a good story paired with a (sometimes belabored) expression of the author's philosophy. I was wondering if there are any real-life connections to the characters of her ...
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2answers
489 views

What might Syme have been thinking when he was captured?

I understand that Syme was vaporised because he overthought the concept of the newspeak, but would he have regretted being an avid follower of Big Brother and destroyer of language?
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132 views

What makes Elizabeth Bennet “life-like” in “Pride and Prejudice”?

This is an essay prompt from my literature class: "The women in Jane Austen's novels are more life-like than men". How far is this comment applicable to Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice? What ...
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36 views

What was Fausts purpose?

It seems like at the end of Faust II, he has realized what he should do. Shortly before that, he kills humans on his quest to help humanity. So what exactly is his new purpose, except that he has ...
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0answers
50 views

Could Becky Sharp in “Vanity Fair” be considered a Byronic heroine?

I was recently rereading William Makepeace Thackeray's novel, Vanity Fair as it follows the lives of two distinct female characters, Becky Sharp and Emmy Sedley. I also have read that Thackeray ...
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2answers
1k views

Is Sherlock Holmes religious?

In this question, it is established that Sherlock Holmes, from the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was asexual and in explaining that it is stated that he showed very little emotion in general. This ...
4
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1answer
725 views

What's the significance of Liza-Lu?

In Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles, the character Liza-Lu (Tess's sister) plays a very minor background role throughout most of the novel, until near the very end when Tess says she wants ...
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2answers
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Is Simon epileptic?

From the moment Simon is introduced in Lord of the Flies, we learn that he faints a lot. He has his own place which he retreats to when he feels he is about to faint or maybe have a fit, and when he ...
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How has Okonkwo succeed in resisting the colonizer through word-play in “Things Fall Apart”?

In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo refuses to speak the language of the colonizer (the white man) , rather he uses his own language (Ibo) to deconstruct the language of the colonizer. So, how has Okonkwo ...
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Question about a personal interpretation of Mckee's basic elements of Story: events and beats

I would like to propose a "technical/practical" interpretation of Mckee's basic story elements. My interpretation is some sort of a set theoretical motivated, on which the construction of the next ...
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0answers
81 views

Are the homoerotic hints in “La Reine Margot” intentional?

La Reine Margot by Alexandre Dumas can be read as the story of two guys, and their two girlfriends: the alpha couple is Marguerite de Valois (Margot), who's having a passionate affair with the ...
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What connects the strangeness of the people and the magic of the bathroom?

I was just reading Turkish Short Stories from the October 2017 issue of Words Without Borders. In particular, the story "The Little Bathroom" by Sine Ergün (published freely online, and translated ...
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222 views

Rhett Butler's character archetype?

My question is about "Gone with the Wind," and is actually more about cinema than literature (I haven't read the book), but I think it might also be pertinent here. How would you call Rhett Butler's ...
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0answers
69 views

Purple Hibiscus: The death of Eugene

How was Kambili affected by her father's death? I understand that she was the only one in the household who was able to love and see pass the image of a violent father but she was also physically and ...
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0answers
114 views

How is Wuthering Heights focused on male experience?

How is Wuthering Heights focused on male experience, and in what way does it trace the development and education of Heathcliff?
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0answers
51 views

Is there any evidence Mat Cauthon was inspired by Matthias Corvinus?

Matthias Corvinus, also known as the Raven King, was King of Hungary and Croatia for a while in the 1400s. He was a noted general, and extensively made use of Hussite mercenaries in his battles. He ...
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480 views

Are Frog and Toad more than just friends?

In a 1977 interview with The Lion and the Unicorn, Arnold Lobel said: You know, if an adult has an unhappy love affair, he writes about it. He exorcises it out of himself, perhaps, by writing a ...
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57 views

Is Mike an anarchist in *The Moon is a Harsh Mistress*?

In the later parts of Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, we find out that Manny and Prof are motivated by their anarchist political beliefs. They argue for these beliefs in the new ...
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1answer
79 views

Did “The Fox” hold to Stoic philosophy?

Till We Have Faces says the following about "The Fox" (the Greek slave who was a tutor): He had all sorts of sayings to cheer himself up with: "No man can be an exile if he remembers that all the ...
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How is Daisy Buchanan from “The Great Gatsby” a controversial character?

I have to gather a list of some controversial characters in English Literature. As a result, I came up with a small list. A few characters were suggested by my friends, but one I found a bit confusing....
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2answers
215 views

What happened to Marley in A Christmas Carol?

Whatever happened to Scrooge’s partner after he gave his warning about the three ghosts? I know it’s way before Christmas, but I just have to know! It just seems strange to me that he’s never ...
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2answers
529 views

To what extent did Agatha Christie base Captain Hastings on Dr. Watson?

I've noticed that there are quite a few parallels between Agatha Christie's Captain Arthur Hastings and Arthur Conan Doyle's Dr. John Watson: Both served in the British military (Hasting in World War ...
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2answers
141 views

What is the source of Mr. Norrell's wealth?

In Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, the magician Norrell has cornered the market on magical books, which must have been a considerable expense. He also seems to have a considerable estate. How did he ...
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1answer
106 views

In the Kalevala, what is Väinämöinen?

The character of Väinämöinen is central to the Finnish epic the Kalevala. But from reading about him and the stories online, I can't figure out whether he was a god or a mortal man. Some of the myths ...
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0answers
54 views

Are all or some of the characters named Sganarelle the same person?

A recurring name in the cast of Molière's plays is named Sganarelle. If they were all the same person, the story of his life would look something like this: The Flying Doctor: Sganarelle is a servant ...
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1answer
127 views

Why did Ellsworth Toohey advise people against doing what they really wanted when he was a career advisor?

Prior to his job on The Banner, Ellsworth Toohey spent awhile as a career advisor at a college. One of his distinctive traits as a career advisor was that he usually advised people against doing what ...
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How is the concept of cultural encounter treated in the short story “One Out of Many”?

In the story "One Out of Many" by V.S. Naipaul, how is the concept of cultural encounter treated? I have a few questions about that: Is the author aware of the cultural encounter theme? How does he ...
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1answer
259 views

Does the description of Eustace's parents fit some known stereotype?

In the opening paragraph of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C. S. Lewis introduces us to the (at this point in the story) singularly unlikeable character of Eustace Clarence Scrubb. About his parents, ...
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1answer
354 views

Meaning and implication of these lines in The Importance of Being Ernest

Lady Bracknell: There are distinct social possibilities in your profile. The two weak points in our age are its want of principle and its want of profile. The chin a little higher, dear. Style largely ...
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In Tony Hillerman's People of Darkness, why do the Navajos accept Vines as a religious leader?

In Tony Hillerman's novel, People of Darkness, why have a group of Navajos, who followed some form of traditional Navajo religion, accepted B.J. Vines as their religious leader? He's not only a white ...
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1answer
824 views

How old was Tatiana during the main events of “Eugene Onegin”?

Eugene Onegin is a novel in verse, by the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. The main characters are Eugene Onegin, a young and bored man, and Tatiana, an even younger girl who falls in love with ...
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98 views

L'espérance in The Count of Monte Cristo [closed]

Why does Edmond name his ship L'espérance in the end? And why does he leave behind Mercédès and Albert?
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1answer
670 views

What was the purpose of Sam Black Crow in American Gods?

In Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods, many of the characters Shadow encounters turn out to be somehow part of the world of the gods, even those like Low-Key Lyesmith who'd seemed innocuous. Most of ...
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1answer
268 views

What changed that made TenSoon want to run?

TenSoon is a kandra, a type of sentient magical creature in Sanderson's Mistborn series, and a proud one at that. After the events in the second book of the series, he travels to his homeland, ...
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1answer
104 views

In Ulysses, why does Stephen finally decide not to stay with Bloom?

Ulysses is such a well-commented book that it's hard to find questions which have not been widely explored already. However, there's a simple aspect of character motivation I've been unable to clarify....
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1answer
568 views

What is the significance of Mr. Swales in Dracula?

Mr. Swales plays a small role, but his interactions with Mina and Lucy seem to suggest a deeper significance. What is the significance of Mr. Swales, if any?
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1answer
157 views

What parallels can be drawn between Don Reba and Beria?

From the afterword of Hard to be a God: On the advice of I. A. Efremov, we renamed the Minister of the Defense of the Crown Don Reba (he had previously been Don Rebia—an overly simple anagram, in ...