Task: Choose a novel or short story which has a main character who could be described as flawed in some way(s). Discuss the main character and to what extent the flaws affect your perception of him/her.
“A Time to Dance” by Bernard MacLaverty is a short story which deals with many relevant themes and ideas to modern day life. The main idea that is made apparent is an idea of flaws within people and this is shown through the main characters. He bases the story around a young boy who is an only child to a single parent family. This helps show the idea of flaw as we get to see the characters contrast with each other.
We are first introduced to the main character, Nelson, at the very start of the story. MacLaverty opens the story putting his name as the first word we read. This automatically suggests to you that this is the biggest main character and introduces him to us instantly. It then carries on to give a physical description of him, telling us he had
“a patch over one eye”
This gives connotations if danger, anger and rebellion, something Nelson loves to do against his own mother throughout the story, also triggering a feeling of slight sympathy for Nelson as we do not yet know how he came to require one. Nelson
“looked at his patch with distaste”
clearly showing us Nelson really did not like wearing the patch and so stubbornly he rips it off, hiding it in his pocket before any attention is drawn to him, also showing that Nelson was embarrassed by the patch and feels he has no reason to wear it. Curiosity of Nelson is touched upon as he has been
“avoiding distant uniforms”
The word choice of “uniforms” gives us connotations of a school boy, an army man – which would link to the reason for his patch, or any other situation that would require a uniform. But we later realise he is a young school boy who simply does not like school but questions us on why he would be skipping. This also makes us question his mother and the support she...