Dynamic Characters In A Story Essay, Research Paper
Dynamic Characters in a Story
One of the most difficult jobs for a writer when he writes a story is to have good characters and good character development. As the plot of a story progresses, the character is either static or dynamic. A static character does not change in the story; however, a character can be termed a dynamic character if he goes through some sort of change because of the action in the plot of a story. The change does not necessarily have to be extreme or complete. It may only be a change in an attitude toward something or else a change in a particular perspective. In the stories Miss Brill and The Lesson , the main characters each realize something that they did not see before, and they then go through a change.
In Miss Brill , Miss Brill goes through a big change by the end of the story. At the beginning of the story, several of Miss Brill s characteristics are indirectly described. She is described as she takes her fur out of its box. She is very tender and careful as she removes it and polishes the shine back into its tiny eyes (Mansfield 258-59). So right from the beginning, she appears to be a very sympathetic character. She also clearly pays careful attention to detail. She enjoys being on the outside looking in at people and observing their behavior as shown when she is sitting on her bench and she notices an old man, a big old woman, an old couple, and a young couple (529). She also notices a beggar and some little children.
While, at the beginning of the story, Miss Brill seems to be sweet or sympathetic, she then starts to make judgements of nearly every person that crosses her path. The old English couple disappoints her by simply not starting up a conversation with her. She describes the Panama hat of another lady as dreadful , and she is tempted to give the woman who couldn t agree with her husband about eyeglasses a good shaking. All these things she picks out from other people show the reader that she must have a pretty high opinion of herself to look down on those people the way she does. Brill seems to especially dump on the people that are older. She calls them odd and silent and describes them as looking like they just came from inside a very dark room or cupboard (259). So, she has not changed yet but her character is being developed through the information the author gives the reader. Miss Brill started out as kind and gentle, but now she may come across at judgmental and conceited. Soon after she makes her judgments about those around her, she sees a much younger couple. The couple is obviously in love and is sitting on a bench talking. She overhears the boy talking to his girl. The words, Because of that stupid old thing at the end there? Why does she come here at all-who wants her? Why doesn t she keep that silly old mug at home? immediately crush her (261). She is knocked off of her pedestal into the realm that she had put everyone else. The story ends with Miss Brill rushing home, putting away her fur, and crying. The change that happens to her is hard for her to bear, yet ultimately it is most likely better for her that she realizes she is not better than everyone else is.
In the story The Lesson , the main character Sylvia goes through a change similar to that of Miss Brill s. Although Sylvia s is not a hurtful, the change she goes through is also opposite her opinion of herself. The first line in the story is Back in the days when everyone was old and stupid or young and foolish and me and Sugar were the only ones just right (Bambara 179). Like Miss Brill, Sylvia think that she and her best friend Sugar are the only normal people that she knows. In the story a lady named Miss Moore takes the children around to different places in some big city for the day. Most of the children are from very poor families, and Miss Moore takes them to fairly affluent parts of town. Obviously the kids are not used to be in this kind of scene. Everything they see is insanely priced, at least in their eyes. Miss Moore is trying to teach the children the value of money and the value of a good education. She believes that one can always work himself up in the world.
Sylvia is the one in the group who could be a leader, or at least she bosses the other kids around. For instance, Sylvia stands on Sugar s foot so she will stop talking. Then Sugar pushes Sylvia off and keeps talking. Sylvia exclaims Sugar pushing me off her feet like she never done before, cause I whip her ass in a minute (184). She begins the story as a young girl that believes that certain things will always be well beyond her reach. When the group goes to one store, they see a paperweight made from glass and semi-precious stones. Sylvia thinks that for $480, it does not make any sense (181). After Miss Moore takes the group to the various different places, she checks to see if her message got through to Sylvia. Sylvia shows not to Miss Moore but to the reader that she got the message. Sylvia has now realized that with hard work and a good education a person can achieve almost anything. She says But ain t nobody gonna beat me at nuthin (184).
As a story progresses, different things are revealed about the character that contributes to character development. Each of the characters in the stories ended up being different people than they started out to be. Whether good or bad, each character goes through a change that betters them as a person. Both Miss Brill and Sylvia are good examples of characters that go through stages of development during the story.