Final Draft Research Paper

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Matthew Kassebaum
4/26/12
Honors English 3
How does an author create the mind of their characters? Are they predetermined or do they let the progression of the story dictate the way the characters minds are shaped? Every author has a major event or turning point in a story which directly affects the lives of the characters in the novel or play. These events and points in the story are presented to the characters as challenges which develop their psychology and mental state. These are key to any story, since the mental state and psychology shape the way the character acts, behaves, and interacts with other characters in the story. Although some believe these traits are predetermined by the author when he creates the character they are actually shaped by the events which occur in the play or novel. These events are not just in the story to make the story entertaining and interesting but are in the story to affect the mental state and psychological development of each and every character affected by the event. In The Great Gatsby Jay Gatsby changes his entire life in hopes of reuniting with the love of his life Daisy, but shortly after they reunite his life seems to revert to the way it was before he became Jay Gatsby. Gatsby’s life, once full of expensive parties, was now lacking all excitement, he was the most talked about man on both East and West Egg, now was forgotten about. He lost touch with his only true friend, Nick, and fired almost all of the people who worked for him, butlers, cleaning staff, drivers, and those who took care of his house. His life went from the party filled life of a young American man trying to enjoy himself to that of a secluded recluse who wanted no contact at all with the outside world. American Psychologist William James once remarked , “…human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” Once Gatsby lost the reason for his money and showiness he lost his desire and need for money and showiness. This loss of his lifelong love leaving a hole in his life, a hole which he had created his new life to fill, was now wide open again and he no longer had a reason for the new life he created. By losing Daisy he effectively changed from the mindset of Jay Gatsby back to that of James Gatz, the son of a poor family from Minnesota. This caused him to go back to his old ways, almost as if the man known as Jay Gatsby did not exist anymore. His mindset went from that of a millionaire, to that of a poor boy with almost nothing, only wishing he was a millionaire. When James Gatz became Jay Gatsby he did it to one day earn back the love of Daisy, and when he couldn’t win her love back there was no reason for all the money and parties, there was no more reason to be Jay Gatsby at all. In Oedipus Rex Oedipus seems to have a wonderful life as the son of a royal family of a very successful land until he found out his fate, what his future was suppose to be, causing his life to take a turn for the worse and lead to his ultimate demise. Oedipus has so many traumatic events occur in his life it is hard to narrow them down to one which affects his psychology the greatest. From his abandonment as a child, killing his father, having children with his mother, and seeing his mother hang herself he had an extremely traumatic life which deeply and greatly affected him. His psychology and how these events affected it are the most well known and widely studied of any character in any story, book, or play in the history of literature, but the event which affects him the most, what drives him to his demise, is when he finds out what his fate is said to be. Rick Riordan, a New York Times bestselling author, wrote in his novel Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief, “Knowing too much of your future is never a good thing.” Once he finds out his destiny he sets out to try and change is, a feat considered impossible, and all he accomplishes is causing it to occur, most likely, faster than he would have if...
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