1-D Characters

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Minor characters are supposed to be flat, but these characters (in middle section of "The Quick and The Dead") seem to flatter than normal. They just show up for an action or anecdote and then they are gone for the rest of the book (I assume) or section. Corvus's neighbor that kills the dog is one example. In (normal? real?) stories, minor characters may remain flat, but they remain in the story for extended periods or they are at least reflected on.

In my research for the paper, I read something that attempted to example this unusual flatness. About Williams's book/writing style from a book review, "She rashly introduces and discards minor characters to illuminate points that are relevant but marginal and therefore jarring. However, many readers would be willing to sacrifice [what] we expect from literature for access to the conceptual acrobatics. Life and death are not neat, confinable topics...[the] form has to bend a little bit for Williams' mind to spill onto the page."

SO

4 Comments

Josie Rush said:

I read this review, too. Does the fact that they dissapear quickly make them *flat* or just ephemeral? I mean, if she establishes a complex personality for her characters, wouldn't they be round?

Aja Hannah said:

I suppose so, but compared to the "main" characters like Alice and Annabel they don't have as much history.

Brooke Kuehn said:

What actually makes a character round? is it just knowing their background or getting inside their heads? I believe round characters always encounter conflict?, which i think all of the characters did in this story. However, about.com says "A flat character is a minor character in a work of fiction who does not undergo substantial change or growth in the course of a story". I don't think the characters who are mentioned briefly are talked about long enough for us to know how they changed.

Aja Hannah said:

So the questions ends up: How many flat characters are there? Are there an unusual amount that makes this idea substantial?

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Aja Hannah on 1-D Characters: So the questions ends up: How
Brooke Kuehn on 1-D Characters: What actually makes a characte
Aja Hannah on 1-D Characters: I suppose so, but compared to
Josie Rush on 1-D Characters: I read this review, too. Does