In The Crown of Columbus, how do the characters develop?Is there character development in The Crown of Columbus?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Michael Dorris, Louise Erdrich novel The Crown of Columbus is in the adventure / action fiction combined genres (though there is some debate about whether "adventure" is actually a genre or an "appeal element"). As such, the emphasis of the story is on the adventure and action and the resolution of the problem, in this case finding the "crown of Columbus."

While there is a good deal of characterization in this novel--in which the main characters, Vivian Twostar and Roger Williams, discuss social and philosophical issues, including Vivan's unreasonable explain of why they can't marry--the characters do not develop through the course of the novel. Instead, as is required by the combined genres, they develop the adventure through action and bring the adventure and action to what for the story is a successful climax and resolution.

Character development is defined as the necessary change in world view or change in personal self-view that the character must undergo before the climax and resolution of a story can occur. In adventure, action, romance, and other genres, the objective of the climax and resolution is for the adventure to be conquered, the action to be survived, or the romance to be won. Character development is secondary--if it exists at all, and it very often does not because. In a well crafted and good adventure / action story, the attainment of the goal is rewarding enough.

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The Crown of Columbus

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