SparkNotes Blog

Literary Protagonists Summed Up in a Single Sentence

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As human beings, we all like to think we’re pretty complicated, but the truth is most of us could be summed up in a single sentence. Take me, for example. I’m a twenty-something flesh vessel just doing her best, and that’s really all you need to know. Everyone reading this probably falls somewhere between “sixteen-year-old honor student who can’t parallel park” and “college sophomore who still hasn’t seen The Breakfast Club,” and that’s it, we’re good to go. We don’t need any information about you beyond that.

The same holds true for literary protagonists. Authors wrote ENTIRE BOOKS trying to get us to understand one character, but wait until those witless morons find out I did it in a single run-on sentence and/or subordinate clause.