Characters are what draw the reader into a work of fiction. Analyzing another person’s thoughts and feelings is fascinating, so it is crucial that an author depicts a complex character that will occupy the reader’s minds. Many characters surprise us through the course of a story, developing in unexpected ways. An author can use various literary devices to reveal their characters gradually. Hernando Téllez wrote a short story called ‘Just Lather, That’s All’ that contains two contrasting characters. ‘The Harness’, which was written by Ernest Buckler, also includes very strong individuals. They are both portrayed in detail and they leave no doubt in the reader’s mind of the nature of these characters. The method of these depictions varies considerably while accomplishing the same goal.
Dialogue is a very common technique in displaying a character’s temperament. When the way a person reacts with others around them is seen, a definite opinion is created. We see examples of this in ‘Just Lather, That’s All’. Captain Torres is seen as a cruel monster when he refers to a firing squad as “a fine show”. Once the man opens his mouth, the reader is able to make an assessment of his personality. David is involved in a substantial amount of dialogue in ‘The Harness’. He speaks as though he is putting great effort into being mature, as is evidenced by the statement “you always say such funny things, Art!” Few young children speak in an equal, maybe even condescending, manner to their parents. We see David’s struggle to please his father through his dialogue with him.
‘The Harness’ is written in the first person, from Art’s point of view. He is biased so only his thoughts are heard in this story. ‘What had I done wrong?’ was a common sentiment he expressed. His confusion is felt, even when the reader longs to answer his question. This technique allows the reader to interact with the character and feel like a participant. The barber writes in the first person in ‘Just...
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