Questions tagged [character-analysis]

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

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Was Sybill Trelawney named after “the” Sybil?

When she gave actual prophecies, Sybill Trelawney had a completely different "persona," not remembering what she said afterwards. Was she named after "the" Sybil (the one known for multiple ...
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105 views

Is Equality 7-2521 a model for John Galt?

Is Equality 7-2521/Prometheus (from Anthem) a model for John Galt? A few major similarities: Significantly, Equality calls himself Prometheus once he realizes that he has a right to exist as an ...
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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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Is Harry Hotspur portrayed as a villain in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part I?

Having studied Shakespeare's play Henry IV, Part I and seen a performance of it in Stratford, I'm still uncertain of how we're meant to view the character of Henry Percy (Harry Hotspur). Clearly he's ...
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Why didn't Eddie Willers ever connect some of the disappearances to his conversations with the Mystery Worker?

Eddie Willers periodically ate dinner in the Taggart cafeteria with the Mystery Worker (who is, of course, later identified as John Galt). They discuss a lot of different things, including the state ...
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95 views

What kind of engineer was Owen Kellogg?

Towards the beginning of Atlas Shrugged, Owen Kellogg was described as follows: [Dagney Taggart] knew that the superintendent of the Ohio Division was no good and that he was a friend of James ...
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35 views

Why did Eddie refer to himself as a “feudal serf”?

In the beginning of the book, when Eddie Willars confronted Jim Taggart about the poor condition of the Rio Norte Line, they had the following exchange: "Jim, what are you saying? Does it matter ...
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Why is there so little character to the character of Shadow in American Gods?

I recently finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Among the criticisms I felt fair to level at it was that Shadow, the central protagonist, is very much a blank slate. We rarely get any insight to his ...
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455 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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266 views

Does it fit in with Hermione's character for her to be tipsy?

One of the things that always bothered me about the Half Blood Prince movie is that there's a scene where Hermione is tipsy. I can't find a good clip of the scene online, but there's a lot of ...
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JKR says that Hermione shouldn't have married Ron. Is this correct?

In an interview, JKR says that Hermione would not have married Ron: She told the magazine: "I wrote the Hermione-Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfilment. That's how it was conceived, really....
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Why and how is Mr. Thompson based on Harry S. Truman?

Wikipedia's list of characters in Atlas Shrugged describes Mr. Thompson as follows: Mr. Thompson is the "Head of the State" for the United States. He is not particularly intelligent and has a very ...
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Why did all of the Taggart Transcontinental engineers volunteer to drive the first train on the John Galt Line?

Early on in the book, the engineer running the Comet stopped for hours at a broken signal and spent hours waiting for someone to tell him what to do. However, later we see that almost every engineer ...
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712 views

Tom and Nick's meeting in the Great Gatsby

At the end of Gatsby when Tom and Nick meet, after their conversation Nick states that Tom: "went into the jewelry store to buy a pearl necklace — or perhaps only a pair of cuff buttons — rid of ...
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Why did Robert Stadler claim that John Galt was “probably a second assistant bookkeeper somewhere”?

When Dagney Taggert went to see Dr. Robert Stadler at the State Science Institute, in explanation for his mistrust of humans and human reason, he told the story of his three students: "These three ...
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133 views

In what way was Dr. Robert Stadler based on Robert Oppenheimer?

Wikipedia describes Dr. Robert Stadler from Atlas Shrugged as follows: A former professor at Patrick Henry University, and along with colleague Hugh Akston, mentor to Francisco d'Anconia, John Galt ...
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116 views

Why did Lillian Reardon appear to admire the Steel Mills?

Shortly after their wedding anniversary celebration (p. 152 in my edition), Hank Reardon recalls Lillian coming down from New York on her own initiative to see his Mills: [Hank] remembered the day ...
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What should we make of the newspaper vendor in Atlas Shrugged?

Related: How should we view Dan Conway? First, a quote from the opening scene of the book: "Who is John Galt?" The light was ebbing, and Eddie Willers could not distinguish the bum's face. The ...
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Does Gale have a sadistic streak, or is he merely willing to be ruthless?

There are two particular incidents that I was thinking of in particular. First was his comment to Katniss prior to the first Hunger Games that killing people in the Arena wasn't really all that ...
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How did Nita and Dairine's sibling relation change after Dairine became a wizard?

How did Nita and Dairine's sibling relation change after Dairine became a wizard in High Wizardry?
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561 views

Is there a contrast between Trofimov and Lopakhin in Anton Chekhov's 'The Cherry Orchard"?

I am an intern who is teaching in high school in India. In the syllabus, I got across Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" in Hindi. After discussing the book with the students, I found out that there ...
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Why is the Emperor Beyond the Sea named that?

Closely related: Why does the Emperor-Over-the-Sea play such a small role in the Chronicles of Narnia? Why is the Emperor Beyond The Sea in The Chronicles of Narnia named that? What sea is he beyond, ...
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Why don't people in the Chronicles of Narnia have trouble “transitioning” back to their old life after extended times in other worlds?

In The Chronicles of Narnia, people often spend weeks, months, or even decades in other worlds. They return to their old life at the exact instant that they left as if they were never gone. For ...
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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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What parallels can be drawn between Hunger Games characters and their classical namesakes?

In the Shakespeare play Julius Caesar, the minor character of "Cinna the poet" is brutally killed by an angry mob who mistake him for Cinna the conspirator. When he protests, "I am Cinna the poet", ...
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How does Mazrim Taim's timeline work out?

Warning: spoilers follow for the Wheel of Time series, including the last few books! We know that Demandred recruited Mazrim Taim for the Shadow, but when exactly did this happen in Rand's timeline? ...
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Why are the bears bulgy?

Among the diverse characters introduced in Prince Caspian during Caspian's tour of the Old Narnians are three bears known as the "Bulgy Bears". What exactly does it mean for them to be bulgy? It's not ...
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728 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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534 views

How does Effie Trinket's name relate to how she is portrayed throughout the series?

Merriam-Webster defines Trinket like this: 1: a small ornament (such as a jewel or ring) 2: a small article of equipment 3: a thing of little value How does Effie Trinket's name - either ...
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Is “The American Claimant” a veiled take on “The Indian Question”?

Mark Twain's 1892 novel The American Claimant was written very soon after the Wounded Knee Massacre (1890), which was basically revenge for the 1876 Battle of Greasy Grass ("Little Big Horn"). This ...
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Why did Dunbar consider a life of intentional boredom worth living?

In Catch-22, Dunbar would routinely cultivate boredom in an effort to extend his life. Why did he consider that worthwhile? Why did he want a long but boring life?
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Do the characters in Line (by Israel Horovitz) ever fully grasp the absurdity of their behavior and situation?

In Line (a one-act play by Israel Horovitz), the characters constantly jockey for position in a line. All of the characters seem to have a very different idea of what they're even waiting for, or why ...
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724 views

Benvolio and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet

What do the characters of Benvolio and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet symbolize, if anything? Mercutio's character mainly provides jokes, and then, in his hot-headedness, is slain by Tybalt. Benvolio ...
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Does Puzzle the Donkey have an allegorical relationship with any entity in the Book of Revelation or the Bible at large?

C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia are a great children's series which present an allegory the New Testament and Biblical history. That said, Lewis sometimes put in things that don't necessarily reflect ...
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What is the name of the writing style in “Bleak House” by Charles Dickens? Why is that style used?

In Bleak House by Charles Dickens, the viewpoint frequently changes from Esther Summerson, or first-person, to third person. What is this style known as? Also, why did Dickens place such a important ...
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Was the motive behind this ever explained by the author of The Virgin Suicides?

In the novel The Virgin Suicides, we find that every daughter of the Lisbon family has attempted to suicide and succeeded. However, at the end of the novel, we don't find any motive behind all of ...
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675 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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What does the teacher's clothing choice say about him?

In chapter 2 of I Am a Cat we see this chunk of text: He continues to wear his black cotton crested surcoat and, thereunder, a quilted kimono of hand-woven silk which, supposedly a keep-sake of his ...
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397 views

Why wasn't O'Brien considered a thought criminal?

Given that O'Brien shows a high level of awareness of the Party's deceptiveness and malice (e.g. the fact that he admitted to being involved in creating and promoting the Goldstein myth), to what ...
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264 views

How is the Brother Officer being portrayed in “The Hero”?

Siegfried Sassoon's short poem "The Hero" (full text here) is about a young soldier who has died in the First World War, and describes the news of his death being given to his grieving mother. When I ...
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452 views

Why does Ishtar insist on being called “Ishtar”?

There are many characters in Gaiman's Sandman stories that have multiple names; Morpheus is one of them. For the most part, they usually don't mind if someone calls them by one name or another. The ...
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Who or what is the narrator of “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies”?

I just read Brooke Bolander's short story "Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies", which has been nominated for both Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Short Story after its publication less than a year ago (...
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What is the essence of Undershaft's moral argument in Major Barbara?

I can discern certain Nietzschean undertones such as Undershaft's idealization of the will to power. I also understand Undershaft's discussion on the problem with describing poverty and starvation as ...
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What is the purpose of Owl Eyes in Great Gatsby?

Scott Fitzgerald rarely puts characters or events that have do not either have an underlying message or support in the character development of the lead characters. Therefore I was confused as to what ...
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552 views

Why did Morris and Clay preemptively dissolve the Red-Headed League?

Spoilers ahead for The Red-Headed League. In this Sherlock Holmes story, Holmes and Watson are recruited by a flustered pawnbroker, Jabez Wilson, who has been tricked into joining a fake society, the ...
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269 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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307 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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234 views

Why is desire “a commodity [Lucifer is] short on”?

In The Sandman Presents: Lucifer - The Morningstar Option #3 (written by Mike Carey and drawn by Scott Hampton), Lucifer explains he needed Rachel Begai to channel her desire to destroy the Velleity, ...
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432 views

Why is Regulus Black a seeker?

In Chapter Ten of the Deathly Hallows, we're told that Regulus Black is a seeker for the Slytherin team. Is there any symbolism behind Regulus Black's Quidditch position? I got the idea for this ...
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532 views

Understanding a reference to Tom Sawyer in the context of avoiding work

I am Brazilian, I frequent the Mathematica Stack Exchange, and I've never heard of Tom Sawyer. So it was confusing when I read a meta post that described people as "Tom Sawyers". "There are a few ...