Essay on Literary Analysis : Flat Or Round

1308 Words Oct 22nd, 2014 6 Pages
Characters, whether readers interpret their role as the doer of tasks, pawns that represent a feeling or idea, or the carriers of messages, they are without question a crucial part of what makes a story, a story. Since the early 20th century, writers have used different types of characters to anchor their novels and stories. In the literary world there are two types of characters; flat or round, also seen sometimes as static, and dynamic characters. The two character types were originated, defined and described by E.M. Forster in his book, Aspects of the Novel (1927). Formally, Encyclopedia Britanica defines flat characters as, “two-dimensional in that they are relatively uncomplicated and do not change throughout the course of a work”(Britanica 2014). In contrast, this same encyclopedia defines round characters as, “complex and undergo development, sometimes sufficiently to surprise the reader” (Britanica 2014). With compiled research, there appear to be three consistent criteria between that place characters in either the flat or round category; the number of personality traits that the character has, the complexity of the emotions they portray, and whether or not the character grows or changes throughout the novel. Octavia Butler takes full advantage of this literary technique in her novel, Parable of A Sower. Using the three defining components stated previously, this essay will seek to take a look at several characters within Butler’s novel; Lauren, and Keith to…

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