The Greatest Sorrow: Loss of Family
A dynamic character changes over the course of the story. The change undertaken by such a character is usually very influential on the final resolution. Most often the event that creates this change is very serious in nature, such as loss in one’s family. Lyman Baker mentioned in his article that the curiosity towards a “change in identity” have been very intense in this century. In Wangerin’s book, The Book of Sorrows, death surrounds almost all of the characters in the story at one point or another. The two character that are most influenced by death are Ferric and Chantucleer. This kind of influence can change the character that can be effective in creating an interesting story.”[I]f your character has a pattern of behavior, it can be effective to show an opposite aspect of his or her personality” (Welling). Walter Wangerin Jr. creates a dynamic character in Ferric the Coyote by taking him through a transformation in the loss of his wife and only son. Wangerin makes a huge impact in Ferric's life when his wife and only son are killed. The death of a family member is the biggest stress situation in any person's life. “The death of a loved one is always painful for the family, but unexpected deaths are particularly tragic and shattering” (Rober, Rosenblatt 1). Wangerin chose an impact that the readers can easily relate to, which is important. “People will read stories only as long as they care about what happens to the characters” (Craig). Losing two at the same time is so devastating, that some people can never recover from it. ”The pain has been described as one world ending and another beginning , in the sense that the existing meanings of life, love and family are swept away and new meanings have to be constructed” (Rober, Rosenblatt). Wangerin put this force of devastation into the story with the purpose of changing the attitude and traits of Ferric radically. Before the death of his son and wife, Ferric was a...
Cited: 1. Rober, Peter, and Paul C. Rosenblatt. “Selective Disclosure in a First Conversation about a Family Death in James Agee’s Novel A Death In The Family.” Death Studies 37.2 (2013): 172- 194. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 May 2013.
2. Craig, Philip R. "Character And Locale In Crime Fiction." Writer (Kalmbach Publishing Co.) 111.5 (1998): 13. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 May 2013.
3. Welling, Tina. "Surprises In Fiction." Writer (Kalmbach Publishing Co.) 114.4 (2001): 26. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 May 2013.
4. Wangerin, Walter. The Book of Sorrows. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985. Print.
5. Baker, Lyman. “Static and Dynamic Characterization”. K-Sate. 7 March 2001. Web. 2 May 2013.
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