February 28, 2015
Flat Characters: Rounding off the Main Characters and Making Them Dynamic Mangan’s sister in James Joyce’s “Araby” and Martha in Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” take the meaning of flat characters to a different level. Many readers feel that flat characters are unimportant and useless to the story. However, if those readers took a closer look at flat characters such as Mangan’s sister and Martha, they would see they play a role bigger than that by developing the main character in those stories. These two specific characters help show that flat characters contribute to the development of the main character throughout the story by demonstrating how easy it is for a person’s mind to be clouded and his or her actions to change because of a single person and what idea that person represents.
Looking at Mangan’s sister in “Araby”, a reader can see a perfect example of how an individual’s action can change because of a single person and the idea of hope that that single person can represent. This conclusion arises when Mangan’s sister embeds the idea of going to the bazaar into the narrator’s mind. It all begins when she mentions the bazaar and asks if he was going. Mangan’s sister then clouds the main character’s mind when she...