The psychological framework of a literary protagonist
Consider how the psychological framework of a literary protagonist can
influence the manner in which a narrative unfurls. For Essay #2, select a character from a poem,
song, short story, novel, film, video game, or television episode whose personal faults ultimately
lead him/her into conflict.
With the analysis of this character in mind, compose a tightly structured
literary analysis that examines the psychological framework of this person and how a limitation in
their personality led them towards a narrative issue. Consider some or all of the following questions
when crafting your essay:
-Does the character have only one personality fault that leads to conflict, or are there many
which factor together to cause the issue?
-What is this character’s level of understanding of their problem? Are they consciously
aware of their issue and cannot fend against it, or are they ignorant to their own flaw?
-How do you know that the perceived trait is indeed a fault in this character’s make-up?
What support does the text provide to suggest that this character is flawed?
-Would you consider your character an “anti-hero”, an antagonist, a flawed hero, etc.?
-Does the narrative end happily for the character? Do they ultimately compensate for their
fault, or do they succumb to it?
-Which elements of literature help you understand this character on a deeper level? Consider
particular lines of dialogue, employment of allusion, rhyme, irony, mood/tone, narrative,
point-of-view, etc. If you are discussing a television episode, consider noting important
composition in the cinematography as well.
Ultimately, your goal is to demonstrate your ability to deeply analyze a literary character and their
role/influence on their work’s narrative, as well as your ability to form tightly-structured paragraphs
that introduce – and then thoroughly support – focused arguments
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