A round character is one, as the name implies, whom we can walk around and see from different angles, as if he or she is a real person. A round character expresses their themselves so that we know what such a character is thinking and feeling. A round character, like...
A round character is one, as the name implies, whom we can walk around and see from different angles, as if he or she is a real person. A round character expresses their themselves so that we know what such a character is thinking and feeling. A round character, like a person, is a mixture of complex shadings, with both strong and weak points.
A flat character, in contrast, is based on a type and is not fully articulated or developed. Flat characters seem two-dimensional, like a cardboard cutout of a person, and we often don't learn much, if anything, about what they are thinking or what motivates them.
Part of the the strength of To Kill A Mockingbird is the number of round characters in the novel. In addition to Scout and Jem, Calpurnia becomes a rounded character as we see her in own setting in First Purchase Church, and Scout experiences a side of her housekeeper that she has never seen. Scout begins to understand how Calpurnia functions differently in two different cultures, even to the point of changing her speech patterns, and how important her black culture is to Calpurnia. Calpurnia, too, is a mix of traits: she is overall quite a positive character and a good role model for Scout, but can also be harsh and unyielding with her.
Mrs. Dubose gains dimensionality as Jem and Scout get to know her better. She moves from being the stereotypical neighborhood witch who does nothing but insult the children and their father to a person of courage and strength as the children read to her and come to understand that she is shaking off a morphine addiction before she dies.
Mayella is also treated as a rounded character. She is not simply white trash or a young woman who falsely accuses an innocent black man of rape. Lee portrays her sympathetically as a person caught in a lonely, abusive home situation who tries to keep clean, plants flowers, and is reaching out in friendship to Tom when events go awry.