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Character Identification: “Hiding from a Poisoned Memory” (Circle)

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 10:05 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 69.9 
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Characters from different sources of literature can often be linked together and seem to have the same feelings, background, moral standing, or struggles.   They may experience the same hardships, driving them to suffering, which other characters in literature encounter.   In the book Jasmine by Bharati Mukherjee, the main character was told from the age of seven the hardships she would encounter in her lifetime (Mukherjee 3).   Pecola, from The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, experiences rape by her father and the miscarriage of their child.   The main character in “Barn Burning,” by William Faulkner, deals with a father that ruins his life and the struggle to stop his father from burning buildings.   These character experience hardships throughout their lives.   They live with the rejection their lives have given them and try to survive in the world of injustice by themselves.

Each story starts with the character’s family and group identity.   Jasmine lives in India with her parents at the beginning of her life.   She later moves to the United States to escape hardships.   Sarty from “Barn Burning” lives with his poor and rejected family moving from place to place.   His family has been rejected by society because his father would not stop burning buildings when he got mad at the people he worked for.   Pecola lived with her poor family as well.   Her mother was gone most of the time and her father would get drunk almost every night before coming home.   She was moved out of her house for a little while until her family could pull themselves together and provide a suitable place from her to live in.   In each piece of literature, the character starts with family, a place to call home, people who accept them, and a place of the same race and nationality.

As the stories progress, each character experiences their own desire for better; they have found something that will better their lives.   As they struggle to gain their prize, hardships string into place to hinder...


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