Character: “The aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing” (Dictionary.com).
Character comes from the word charaktḗr in 1275, which means to engrave (Dictionary.com). Character became an increasingly popular term in the 17th century. Beginning in the early 1600’s many writers had an increased interest in studying the analysis of characters. Writers such as Sir Thomas Browne and Isaac Casaubon took interest in characters and made deep observations about them. In the 18th century Characters in essays began to be given names, writers such as Steele, Goldsmith, and Addison introduced this process (Dictionary). In modern literature characters are usually based on individuals; however, some writers will create characters out of inanimate objects.
Meredith Quartermain is a writer from Vancouver who uses characters in interesting and uncommon ways. She normally does not assign characters specific names an example being from Quartermain’s micro-fiction “My Agency” where the antagonist is not named and does not name any one else. Quartermain also creates characters out of inanimate objects rather than animate individuals as seen in her story “The Lawn Dress” where the protagonist is a lawn dress. It is micro-fictions such as these where Quartermain incorporates unique ways of portraying characters.
“Character.” Dictionary.com. Web. 26 January 2010.
“Character.” A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. Oxford: Blackwell, 1991. Print.
Quartermain, Meredith. “The not of what she didn’t know.” The Capilano Review 3.12 (2010): 49-58). Print.