Character Analysis: The Messenger

The Messenger Essay “In order for a text to be successful, characters must undergo meaningful change”

In The Messenger, novelist Markus Zusak records the experiences of Ed Kennedy, the protagonist, as he undergoes changes that enable him to find himself, giving his a life a purpose. As the novel begins, Ed is a lazy and underachieving teenager who drives taxi-cabs for a living. Ed is laid back with little life aspirations. As the novel progresses, the messages that Ed is required to deliver contribute towards his character development. This transformation is reflected in Ed breaking out of his shell and beginning to show some purpose and meaning as a pivotal character. Ed becomes so confident that he harnesses the ability to express his
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The use of listing in this example, suggests that Ed is content with his life and has accepted (perhaps begrudgingly) that this is how he is. Ed seems defeated, and resigned to the fact that he is destined to continue the unhappy existence he has. Ed’s lack of motivation makes him feel “like a deadbeat” who admits to “living in the past”, casually admitting “that’s my life”. Expressed here is once again a recognisable lack of motivation to change or improve his circumstances or personal qualities. As a reader, these quotes provide an introduction to the protagonist that is underwhelming to say the least. Little is expected of Ed when he is introduced in this way. Overall, he appears to be disinteresting as a character and not captivating for a reader. Zusak has actually done something clever here, by portraying the pivotal character as so deceptively unexciting, he invites the reader to be drawn in - questioning why Ed is worthy of his protagonistic role. Mystery and intrigue into the true character traits of a seemingly- average Ed, entices the reader to engage with the novel. From the first pages, the reader wishes to explore Ed, and a meaningful change in him is necessary in order to satisfy the reader and their desire to see …show more content…
Initially, he learnt to break out of his shell and gain new experiences and then he was able to further progress as a character by gaining the quality of being able to help others. Finally, Ed became confident enough to express his feelings to his closest friends which saw us as the reader's experience him go full circle and change from the shy person he once

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