Short Story Talks – Character Types

 

Character Types:

Character types are differentiated by the character’s actions and decisions throughout the story. Their personality traits shape their relationships with others and their reactions to an environment. There are nine main character types that readers should understand; flat, round, protagonist, antagonist, stock, dynamic, symbolic, and foil. These characters have different attributes that enhance their role in the story. They can also be more than one character type by having multiple characteristics and qualities. For example, a character can be a protagonist and a dynamic character if they are the leading character in the story that changes their values or personal beliefs. However, there are certain character types that cannot be repeated in a character. For example, a character cannot be a flat and round character in the story because these attributes conflict with each other. Moreover, character types help readers understand the roles of different characters in a story and their contribution to the overall plotline.

 

Examples of Character Types:

  •  Kate is the main character in the story that desperately tries to prove herself and fit in with others. She is portrayed as innocent and naive throughout the story, seeking popularity by dating Tom Mayer. However, once their relationship escalates and becomes eerily possessive, she proves that she is self-assured and can trust her instincts.
    • Kate is the protagonist in the story because she is the leading character that drives the plot forward. She is a round character because she has complex feelings and emotions towards Tom Mayer. She is also a dynamic character because she becomes more self-assured and decisive towards the end of the story by trusting her instincts and using self-defence. 
  • Throughout the story, Travis warns Eckels of the dangers of time travelling and the consequences of simple actions. When Eckels disobeys his instructions and steps off the path, Travis becomes upset and threatens to leave without him. His personal beliefs and values are clearly illustrated as the story progresses.
    • Travis is the antagonist in the story because he is the force that opposes Eckels and drives the conflict. He is a round character because he is very believable when he expresses his concerns about influencing the past. He is also a static character because his personal beliefs and values do not change throughout the story (regarding time travelling).
  • Vern often comforts Sly and sympathizes with his situation. He keeps him company and helps him cope in times of frustration. His personality contrasts Delilah by consoling Sly after he is treated harshly.
    • Vern is a round character in the story because he is very life-like as he comforts Sly and sympathizes with his frustration. He is a symbolic character because he represents safety by grounding Sly and preventing him from losing control of his emotions. He is also a foil character to Delilah because his qualities and traits contrast hers dramatically. 

 

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