What is the definition of a character?I am writing a book report on a non-fiction book entitled, Death by Black Hole . This work does not contain characters; it has things like light, Black...

What is the definition of a character?

I am writing a book report on a non-fiction book entitled, Death by Black Hole . This work does not contain characters; it has things like light, Black Holes, different types of rays, etc.  So are those characters, oe what should I call them?

Thanks in advance for any ideas you may have!!

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Character in literature is defined as persons, animal, things, or natural forces presented as persons in short stories, novel, plays, or narrative poems.  Since character is thus limited to fiction in this definition, it may not be a good idea to use this word in your book report.  Perhaps you could use something like contributing element or meaningful/explanatory element.  Other words such as concept/idea may also serve your purposes. In such as book as that which you mention are there also not theories? At any rate, it does seem advisable to avoid the use of the word character which finds itself applicable only to literature.