Character in Poetry and Contemporary Stories

Character in Poetry and Contemporary Stories
Richard Rowland
ENG 125: Introduction to Literature
Marc McGrath
November 29, 2010

Character in Poetry and Contemporary Stories
Introduction & Overview
Characters can make or break a story. We find it easy to relate to a story when we can personally relate to the character; also it is a way to engage readers as they become more interested in the actual story when they are concerned about the characters.
Characters are subdivided into a few categories, major characters, secondary or minor of characters, and dynamic characters (p. 60). Major characters are the protagonists and antagonists of the story. They help the plot evolve and are the ones the readers most closely relate to. Secondary characters play more of a supporting role in the story and dynamic characters are the ones to exhibit dramatic changes, whether in attitude, purpose or behavior (p. 60).
The way an author reveals a character has much to do with the way the reader perceives said character. From the way he chooses to reveal the character to the specific facts chosen to be reported about the character -attire, attitude, skills, behavior- a reader has much to judge and eventually decide whether or not to support the character.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the universal meanings and separate renditions of character created by writers in their stories.   The paper will investigate readings from two genres, poetry and story. I will look at a poem written by Robert Hayden, “Those Winter Days,” a poem by Langston Hughes, “Ballad of the Landlord” , and a contemporary story written by Sherman Alexi, “Indian Education”.
Robert Hayden (1913 – 1980), “Those Winter Days” [1962].
In Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays,” he delves deeply into his father’s character with a very short poem (p. 764). The poem begins with the author’s father’s routine, who would wake up very early during cold winter Sundays, and ends with a bit of...