What are flat and round characters?

Flat characters are defined by a single trait. Round characters are more complex, expressing numerous traits that are often in conflict.

Flat and Round Characters

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Last Updated on February 25, 2021, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 104

Flat characters are notable for a single characteristic or personality trait, though they may still be described in detail. In contrast, round characters have complex personalities. The way their traits relate to one another is sometimes complicated, just like it is in real life. These traits do not always easily...

(The entire section contains 104 words.)

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Flat characters are notable for a single characteristic or personality trait, though they may still be described in detail. In contrast, round characters have complex personalities. The way their traits relate to one another is sometimes complicated, just like it is in real life. These traits do not always easily reconcile with one another.


Flat character examples:

  • Mrs. Micawber in David Copperfield
  • Pangloss in Candide
  • Fagin in Oliver Twist
  • Harrison in "Harrison Bergeron"

 

Round character examples:

  • Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair
  • Jane in Jane Eyre
  • Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye
  • Victor in “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona"

 

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