The Strong Character Development of Eleanor in Eleanor and Park, a Novel by Rainbow Rowell

In the novel Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor is seen as an outsider compared to the others. She tends to wear whatever she has around the house; the clothes are an odd combination. When Park gets to know Eleanor, he sees past all that. He even begins to fall in love with her to the point where he willingly does anything for her. Eleanor is seen as taciturn and bizarre at the beginning of the novel; however, as the story continues, she is seen as a candid individual by Park, making her character development strong because of the positive effect he has on her emotionally.

At first, Eleanor is seen as a taciturn individual. That being said, she does not have anyone to talk to for the most part until Park. Even when Park has his first impression of her, she is silent. When she sits by him, Park points this out in thinking, “She didn’t say anything- thank God, she didn’t thank him-and she left six inches of space on the seat between them” (Rowell 9).

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Granted. right before she sits down, the bus driver had been yelling at her to sit down. However, after Park and Eleanor begin to interact, she still only talks to two friends she makes later on as well as her family besides Park. It is as if Park’s influence gets her to interact with people once in awhile. Because of this, Eleanor is a rather quiet character before she begins to interact with Park.

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As well as being taciturn, Eleanor is portrayed as being quite bizarre in the beginning of the novel. At the beginning of the story, when Eleanor is first spotted on the bus by Park, he describes her as a scarecrow with the way she is dressed. She first gets on the bus and he describes her in saying.

“She reminded Park of a scarecrow or one of the trouble dolls his mom kept on her dresser. Like something that wouldn’t survive in the wild” (Rowell 8), As the story continues, she still dresses bizarrely in other people’s eyes. She tends to wear more masculine clothing paired With random trinkets. This does not change in the stony even when Park‘s mother gives her a makeover. Park points it out in his narratives once in awhile. but eventually does not seem bothered by it, He ends up even loving it about her. After Park and Eleanor get closer, he tends to no longer see her as bizarre and only sees it as something that makes her unique. Finally, Park is a witness to Eleanor becoming a candid individual around him. Park and Eleanor get to be close in their relationship. Even with them being so close. Eleanor never tells Park she loves him even when he says it. That being said, by the end of the book, Park receives a postcard from her that he originally sends her. His narration creates a vague yet clear hint at what she sends because the author says, ”Eleanor hadn’t written him a letter, it was a postcard, Just three words long” (Rowell 325). With these as the final words of the novel, Rowell heavily implies that Eleanor finally states her feelings. It easily wraps up the novel as well as it shows Eleanor’s character development. She goes from being shy about even touching Park. to writing on a postcard stating her feelings. Park has easily aided in her character development in the noveL Eleanor is a taciturn, bizarre. and candid individual throughout the novel. Her character development throughout the novel is a positive development. At first, she can be seen as more of an introvert that does not seem to interact with others. By the end, Eleanor is a more social and strong character. Park helps aid her character development so she becomes an amazing woman. Therefore, her character development is just as strong as she ends up by the end of the novel.

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The Strong Character Development of Eleanor in Eleanor and Park, a Novel by Rainbow Rowell. (2022, Jul 12). Retrieved from

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