Character Analysis Essay, Research Paper
Analyzing a character can explain many things about a character to an audience. A character analysis can be based on small things such as physical characteristics to as complex as a character s thought s of life. Many things such as conflict, setting, point of view, and the author should be considered when analyzing a character. The author and audience are the most important factors when it comes to character analysis. Authors can depict a character in any way, while the audience can interpret them in other ways. When the author creates a character, he/she wants to grab the reader and put them in the shoes of the character. As the audience, we begin to see the character in different standpoints, and see things as the character sees them. The character I chose to analyze was John s wife in The Yellow Wallpaper. I chose her because of her slow realization of her own insanity.
First, the author s way of presenting a character plays a major role in character analysis. In the beginning of the story the character talks calmly about her daily routine and openly about her thoughts and feelings about her situation. The author, Charlotte Perkins Gilman does a good job of slowly revealing the character s insanity. She does it so good that it seems as if she knows how it is being insane. The way the author uses the setting and point of view plays a major role in the character s insanity. The story takes place in a house in the country with nobody around. The character is locked in her room because of her illness. The whole story is told in first-person point of view. Using the first person point of view was brilliant of the author, because it put us in the shoes of John s wife.
Second, the main character always has a conflict and most of the time they overcome their problems. In The Yellow Wallpaper , John s wife is in conflict with herself. In the beginning she admits to her illness, but further into the story she figures out how sick she really is. Instead of trying to find a cure for it, John s wife plays along as if she likes being insane. Throughout the entire story the character notices something in the wallpaper of the room she is confined to. After many nights, she realizes that it is a woman trapped behind the wallpaper as if she was in prison. In the end, John s wife realizes that the woman trapped behind the wallpaper is herself. When she finally realized the truth, her insanity took over. At the end of the story she crawls around the room saying that she that she got out at last. John s wife tells John and Jeannie that she pulled down the paper so that they could not put her behind it again. Her insanity made her relate the wallpaper to prison as if she broke out. To me, the most catching phrase in the story was the last one, Now why should that man have fainted? But he did, and right across my path by the wall, so that I had to creep over him every time! this showed the depth of her insanity.
Next, the author seems as if she was telling a story based on her life. When looking at the picture of the author it seemed as if she could have been John s wife. It seemed like the character and author had some sort of relationship. There was something about the picture that I cannot describe that gave me that feeling. The way the author told the story made it feel like I, the reader had a relationship with the character. In some sort of way, it felt like I was in the room with the yellow wallpaper.
Last, there were many things I liked about the author s presentation of the character. Mainly, I like how the author slowly but strictly showed the character s insanity building as the story went on. She would tell the story as if it were three dimensional, where we could see every aspect of the character s life. The author made me feel like I was a part of the story and part of the John s wife. While reading the story I could feel the insanity rising. The author showed us how little things such as the daily routines, the character s loneliness, and jealousy could build her insanity to the point of no return.
In conclusion, in analyzing a character there are many factors that play major roles in the final analysis, it can be something so small as their looks, to something so big as their personality.