Character Analysis of Sasha Uskov

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Authors use many literary methods to acquaint the reader with the main character. Most authors typically reveal the personality traits of their main character through characterization. In the short story, “A Problem” the author was able to allow the reader to explore the characterization of the main character, Sasha Uskov in several distinct ways. Through the narrator’s statement, the author was able to reveal to the reader the motives and conflicts of Sasha’s character and the other supporting characters. Describing Sasha’s character through his own actions reveals to the reader what they need know about his role in the story. The use of dialogue and thoughts helps the reader focus on how this affects the projection of point of view and the potential for sympathy towards Sasha. Finally, the through the supporting characters’ dialogue and actions, the relationships and interactions between Sasha allows for the external and internal conflicts materialize in the story. The narrator opens the story with several statements that sets up the conflict and how our main character’s role contributed to it. The narrator states: “THE strictest measures were taken that the Uskovs' family secret might not leak out and become generally known … The wife of the Colonel, her sister, and the governess, though they had been initiated into the secret, kept up a pretense of knowing nothing … Sasha Uskov, the young man of twenty-five who was the cause of all the commotion … Sasha Uskov had cashed at one of the banks a false promissory note, and it had become due for payment three days before …” These opening statements allows for the reader’s imagination to dress Sasha’s character and serves as an inviting backdrop to the main conflict of the IOU note that Sasha wrote and his inability to repay it. Throughout the story, the narrator introduces the other supporting characters through their relationship or involvement with the problem Sasha’s has created. The supporting characters, such as Ivan Markovitch play a significant role in the narrator’s development of Sasha’s character. The narrator states, “… by the kind-hearted Ivan Markovitch, his uncle …” reveals that the character trait of willingness and family respect in Sasha. However, the narrator also points out that there are two unnamed characters that may show some contradiction to the previous identified traits of Sasha. The narrator states, “… his two paternal uncles … the uncle who was a colonel … the other paternal uncle, an official in the Treasury …” The narrator takes on the non-participant role and helps the reader see the Sasha character through the motives and developing conflicts within telling of the story. The reader comes to know more about Sasha’s character through a series of decisions he makes throughout the story. Let's look at the following excerpts from the story that illustrates Sasha’s role in the story: “Sasha Uskov cashed at on the banks as false promissory note … Sasha had received practically no education; he had been expelled from high school in the fifth class … Uncle, lend me one hundred rubles,' he said to Ivan Mark … Sasha Uskov sat at the door and listened” The above mention excerpt allows the reader to understand the dynamics between the Sasha and his actions. Each one of his actions is a result of inner emotion or purpose. Sasha’s action has to propel the plot of the story, both in giving the reader further information about him. Thus, creates an opportunity for story’s conflict to be seen externally and internally through Sasha. On a side note, I found it interesting that the author chose not to describe the physical trait(s) of Sasha character, but rather allow for his actions to show, not tell. It’s through his actions that speak, what do we know about this man? The use of dialogue and thoughts helps the reader focus on how this affects the projection of point of view and the potential for sympathy towards Sasha. It gives the reader an intimate...
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