Q:

What do characters do for a literary work?

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Quick Answer

Characters in literary work give an author a tangible way to express various themes in a story. The use of characters also helps readers to connect to the main ideas throughout the story, while adding depth to the story being told, according to Bloomsbury Publishing. A character acts as a guide for reading the piece, by directing the reader through the events, as they occur.

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Full Answer

Characters, typically the protagonists, can act as a representation of the authors feelings and thoughts, allowing the author more ability to shape their work. Without characters, literary pieces, such as novels would not be as dynamic, as characters engage the human emotions.

Including strong characters in the book helps the reader to relate to the story that is being told. Incorporating characters can also allow an author to add a signature quality to their work. The RSCC OWL notes that a careful balance of dynamic and static characters, all with different traits, add depth to a story.

Literary work without any sort of character makes it difficult to express various themes, or to teach moral lessons. Without characters in a literary work, the plot could quickly become flat and confusing for a reader, limiting the success of a story.

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