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How do you know which character is the main character in a work of literature?

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mccrolando | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 9, 2008 at 7:06 AM via web

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How do you know which character is the main character in a work of literature?

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yaday | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted December 10, 2008 at 9:19 AM (Answer #1)

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Generally, the main character in a work drives the plot. Oftentimes this protagonist goes through a dramatic change of some sort. Typically, the main character faces some form of conflict, often one of the four types below:

  • the main character versus him- or herself
  • the main character versus society
  • the main character versus nature
  • the main character versus another character

However, the story of a main character does not necessarily have to be told by the same individual. Also, you can tell who the main character is by examining the entity the antagonist forces itself upon.  

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