Importance of Character Development Essay

Importance of Character Development Essay

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In his acceptance speech for the Noble Prize for Literature, William Faulkner identified “the human heart in conflict with itself” as the only subject truly worth writing about. This means that every piece of literature should have characters that struggle with themselves revealing their deeper personal feelings. Conflict is evident in literature to make the story interesting; however, a story detailing internal conflict within a single character creates greater depth to the story. Faulkner speaks of the human spirit and internal conflict as something in which every individual can identify with. As readers become engaged in the story, he or she may begin to ponder their own internal conflict, or the internal conflict of someone close to them, and gain insight, understanding or wisdom. Internal conflict is a universal feeling whether it has a strong presence in one’s life or a weak one. The inner workings of one’s mind and the journey of overcoming or not overcoming self conflict in the effort to know oneself will surely reveal a fascinating tale. We become witness to this in the following two literary works, “The Swimmer” by John Cheever and “Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck. Neddy Merrill and Elisa Allen struggle with themselves which result in completely different outcomes. While Neddy Merril discovers the façade which was life and the painful realization that he wasn’t who he thought he was, Elisa’s self-conflict comes full-circle when she accepts her situation and her own shortcomings.


“The Swimmer”
In “The Swimmer,” There is one main character named, Neddy Merrill. Throughout the story there are other less talked about characters, Neddy’s friends and wife, Lucinda. These characters help us unde...


... middle of paper ...


...t to waste away and kept the pot. She cries, she remembers her uneventful isolated life. She realizes the salesman used her, took advantage of her for money.
As a reader can see, the two literary works I reviewed show that what William Faulkner said was true. Each one of the characters in these stories had a life struggle that revealed their character.( Steinbeck, 1937)








Works Cited
Cheever, John John Cheever: “The Swimmer” from The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever, copyright 1978 by John Cheever. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. check the requirements for citations. These need work

John Steinbeck: “The Chrysanthemums,” copyright 1937, renewed 1965 by John Steinbeck, from The Long Valley by John Steinbeck. Used by permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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