How can/do characters relate to the theme of a story?I'm doing an essay about the development of characters that directly relate to the theme, particularly How I Met My Husband. I believe that the...

How can/do characters relate to the theme of a story?

I'm doing an essay about the development of characters that directly relate to the theme, particularly How I Met My Husband.

I believe that the theme is that social class determines someone's future. (Edie's fate of ending up with the mailman instead of Chris)

Expert Answers
kimfuji eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you choose How I Met My Husband, and do a character study of Edie you could examine her character and how it relates to social class. For example, at the beginning you can examine the dialogue and actions of Edie. She is nieve in a sense in that she thinks Chris will really write to her, come get her and marry her. It shows where she was brought up, on a farm. On the other hand, she is very perceptive of the ways the upper middle class behave. When she tries on the dress it tells something about her. It tells that: 1. she wants to emulate the upper middle class 2. she wants to have what they have 3. and she is willing to enter into a fantasy life, believing that she can be another person, other than who she really is. (This is her gravest error.)

If you follow the character development of Edie throughout the story, you will  be examining her actions and words and inner thoughts. You can then relate this to the theme of social class.

(It's interesting to note that the way a story is told--the framing of a character's experience--is everything. In other words, this story could have been told in an entirely different way. It could have had a very spiritual theme where the characters were drawn to "their own kind" due to a like-minded way of thinking and way of living. In this sense, then Edie would have been destined to meet the mailman and marry him; and Chris would have been a minor, "sort of"  foil character whose function was only to lead Edie to the mailbox everyday, so she could meet and develop a relationship with the mailman.)

 

 

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How I Met My Husband

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