13 June 2011
Characters of Beauty
“Narratology: A Guide to The Theory of Narrative” by Manfred Jahn explains all the different terms used by narrative authors. Some of the techniques and strategies narrators use can be seen in the short story, “She Lived in a Story” by Guillermo Samperio. Samperio uses figural characterization, as well as including flat and round characters into his story. Figural characterization is when a character in a story is describing another character. This characters description is based on another character’s view. Within figural characterization there is explicit characterization. This is when a character, characterize themself or some other character. Samperio uses explicit characterization as well as auto-characterization in his story. Auto-characterization is when a character is describing another physically. This is done by using face or image saving strategies. In his story we see flat and round characters. A flat character is one dimensional and a round character is three dimensional. Round characters are more complex
usually having conflicting properties. Samperio writes:
As he shut off the engine, he decided that the woman in this story would be a young actress whom he admired, for her performances and her extraordinary beauty. Furthermore the actress somewhat resembled the painter Frieda Kahlo, who painted
herself in the dreams of her paintings, another way to live in one’s
Samperio uses some descriptive words in this statement to describe the woman in the story. “Extraordinary beauty” describes the character which is figural characterization. Here one of the characters, Guillermo is describing another character, the woman. He is also using auto-characterization because the character is describing another physically. In the beginning the woman is a flat character because she has restricted abilities. The woman is Guillermo’s creation and she is one dimensional still. Later on in the story the woman because three dimensional and also becomes the narrator. One can see the woman as a round character when Samperio writes, “Someone, perhaps a man, at this very moment is writing these very same words that are appearing in my notebook.” (60) By this point in the story the woman has a name, Ofelia. She also is able to think and talk. She is no longer restricted, she has become three dimensional. Samperio uses many different forms of characterization in his story to describe the characters to the audience.
Gibbons, Reginald., ed. New Writing from Mexico. Evanston, IL: TriQuarterly Northwestern
University, 1992. Print.