Protagonist's Progressions the Novel Essay

Pages: 3 (1036 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature

¶ … Protagonist's Progressions

The novel, since it was first conceived, has been a powerful literary tool for introspection and the examination of the individual. Through the course of a novel, the reader follows the characters' journey, hopefully becoming involved in the plot and feeling the glory of the triumphs and the stings of disappointment and failure as the characters themselves experience these events. When the novel focuses on one main character, the protagonist, as many novels -- if not most of them -- do, this connection between reader and character can become even stronger. Ultimately, however, the strength of this connection is determined by the strength of the protagonists' connection to and understanding of themselves. Three novels that track the rowing self-awareness of the protagonist and so draw the reader in are Jane Austen's Emma, Mark Twain's the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. The protagonists in each of these here works are proudly and prominently proclaimed in the title, but there are, not surprisingly, other more subtle literary elements at work in these novels that are used to explore the protagonists' journey towards self-awareness. Specifically, Austen, Twain, and Potok have ensured that the style of narration, characterizations, and the plot of each novel are all uniquely suited to revealing the individual characters of Emma Woodhouse, Huckleberry Finn, and Asher Lev.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Both the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and My Name is Asher Lev are narrated in the first person by the protagonist, and though Emma is technically narrated in the third person, there is only one brief scene in the entire novel that takes place outside of Emma's direct observation, and the limited omniscience of the third-person narrator often makes it difficult to tell whether certain observations are the narrator's or Emma's herself (Twain, 1885, Potok, 1972, Austen 1815). The various uses of narration really help to define the characters and let the reader in for a more intimate view of their journeys towards self-awareness. The first line of Emma makes it clear that, at the beginning of the novel, the protagonist views herself as an object and somehow removed and isolated from others: "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence" (Austen, 1815, p. 1). The fact that the narration is in the third person yet follows this protagonist so closely emphasizes this sense of remove. Huck, in narrating his own adventures, makes his voice and attitudes very clear. For most of the book, he appears incredibly innocent and naive, but he becomes aware of his ignorance and takes steps to correct it, learning the spelling of his fake name because "somebody might want me to spell it next" (Twain, 1885, p. 138). His frankness regarding his own character is one of the major lessons of the novel, and what leads to his ultimate decision to leave society. Aher Lev, too, narrates his own story, beginning in his childhood and continuing into his early adulthood. The change in his tone of voice is the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Protagonist's Progressions the Novel" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Protagonist's Progressions the Novel.  (2009, January 19).  Retrieved April 6, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Protagonist's Progressions the Novel."  19 January 2009.  Web.  6 April 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Protagonist's Progressions the Novel."  January 19, 2009.  Accessed April 6, 2020.