When it comes to different characters we meet in a story, static characters are very important and interesting to observe. One can compare these characters to mountains. This is not because they are so very great with a lot of value. This is because these characters, as like mountains, do not change. These characters, however, are needed in story to add color to the story. If every character in the story is dynamic, there is no value. The message of the writer may not properly get delivered to the reader if all characters are dynamic. Also, the story can become less interesting if all the characters are of one type.
Definition of Static Characters
As mentioned above, static characters are the characters that do not change during the course of the story, even if they meet conflicts. That means the character that we get to meet in the beginning of the story is the same character that we meet in the end of the story. As a result of these static characters, we get to see the value of dynamic characters more. That is one of their main purposes in a story. Also, they show some realism in stories. That is because, even in real life, not every person changes due to the conflicts they meet.
Examples of Static Characters
Here are some examples of static characters to help you understand the concept.
Daisy Buchanan is the much adored love of the character Jay Gatsby in the novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ by Scott Fitzgerald. At the beginning, when Nick, the narrator of the story, introduces her to us, we see her as a beautiful, rich woman entangled in a loveless marriage. Then, Gatsby, her old lover or, as we get to know, her true lover comes to her life. She is ready to leave Tom, her husband, for Gatsby. But, when she should leave him and go with Gatsby, she does not. She kills a woman and let Gatsby take the fall for that and joins her husband again. She cannot bear having ugly things in life and now Gatsby reminds her of an ugly memory. Suddenly all that love she professed to him disappears as she falls back to her old ways. Her old ways is accepting what is comfortable and what is constant. That is why she married Tom in the first place. So, Daisy does not change. She remains the same woman who is more in love with comfort and uncomplicated life even at the end. She does not regret giving up on Gatsby for a second time too in the end.
Mr. Collins is one of the interesting static characters in ‘The Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. He is a cousin of the Bennet sisters. He is also the next heir to the estate in which the Bennets live. As the estate only belongs to a male heir, once Mr. Bennet dies, it goes to the hands of this man. Mr. Collins is a priest who cannot stop licking the feet of his patron Lady Catherine De Bourgh. Mr. Collins is like that with all the rich people. That shows he is a very materialistic man. He thinks he is an expert in everything including women. That is why he does not accept Elizabeth’s denial of his proposal saying that he knows when a woman says no for the first time she means exactly the opposite. Even at the end of the novel, he remains the same. The same pompous, ridiculous priest we meet when he is introduced remains in the end too.
‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker carries the interesting character of Dracula, who is a static character. He is an ancient count, who lives by drinking blood of people. In other words, he is a vampire. From the beginning to the end, he remains the same seducing, evil, selfish man who tries to survive doing whatever possible.
Static characters are one type of characters we meet in stories. Static characters, as their name indicates, do not change through the course of the story. They are the opposite of dynamic characters. Some examples for static characters are Daisy Buchanan, Mr. Collins, and Dracula.
What are Dynamic Characters
What is the Point of View of a Story
Images Courtesy: Daisy Buchanan and Dracula via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
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