A key choice writers make is how they name or refer to characters in their stories. Write about the significance of the choices writers have made in naming or referring to their characters in the three texts you have studies. In the three texts I have studies the writers all name and refer to their characters in different ways. For example in The Road the characters are not given names and in Small Island all the characters are named and referred to in detail.
Firstly mc McCarthy doesn’t give his characters names throughout his narrative he only refers to them as, the man, “papa” and the boy which shows they are father and son and that is all the detail McCarthy reveals. The significance of this is to create the effect that this dystopia they live in could happen to absolutely anyone. McCarthy has also done this to create a statement that names are no longer important since the world has ended and all civilisations have been wiped out. The only important this is surviving.
McCarthy mentions the boy was born into the post apocalypse s so maybe the boy hasn’t even been given a name through the fact he doesn’t need one since there is no civilisation and there is a nil chance of survival, therefore there is no one to give your name to. McCarthy could also be revealing that maybe the parents didn’t think it was important in naming the boy because they wouldn’t survive. In Small Island Levy names her characters very stereotypically through their personalities.
Queenies christened name is Victoria “I was christened victoria” like the late queen, but forever been called Queenie, which is what her mother wanted to christen her as but the vicar wouldn’t allow it as it was a common name so he suggested Victoria. Levy chose this name as it reflects Queenies character very well as she is very well mannered and “posh” like the queen. Gilberts name reveals that he is half white through the fact that Gilbert Joseph is a common white man name. Levy also reveals that his father is white by referring his to as “light skinned”.
Hortense’s name reveals that she is not English however it also reveals that she is wealthy and higher class through the fact that Hortense is a French name which automatically stereotypically reveals Hortense’s character is going to be higher class which she is. Levy also refers to her characters in racist ways by addressing and describing the black characters as “darkies” and “niggers” the significance of this is to show when the novel was set “1948” when being racist was common and most English people were, in which Levy has took advantage of to make her narrative realistic.
Finally in Rossetti’s poetry, Rossetti refers to men in different negative ways. For example in Goblin Market Rossetti refers men to a Goblins she has done this to reveal her emotions of men implying that they are all vial and evil. However, the word “Goblin” could also mean gold which could be implying that all men are rich which is true because in the 19th century it was only men who had money, so she could be implying that men are rare and rich. However, still men in Rossetti’s poems are shown to be negative which is interoperating that wealth isn’t all that good.
Rossetti also gives her characters common names such as “Maude Clare”, “Laura” and “Lizzie” the significance of this is to make her poems still mysterious and open for interpretations which she does in all of her poems. Rossetti also refers to her characters through social class and skin tone she does this as it was a main importance in the 19th century. To compare all the writers I have studies both Levy and Rossetti refer and name their characters through social class in some way. However, McCarthy doesn’t mention social class or interpratate it in any way.
He has done this because there is no longer any social class unlike in when Small Island and Rossetti’s when it was highly mentioned with the time they are set in. In conclusion in all the texts I have studied the writers all texts I have studied the writers all name their characters in different ways for different significance and to create different effects to their narratives. But also to affect the reader differently for example McCarthy doesn’t give names to his characters to give the narrative lack of information as it could be happen to anyone but also to give the reader no emotional connection to the novel.
Courtney from Study Moose
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