When I dreamt this, I walked straight up to the mirror and began to admire myself. Phew! I am pretty much visible, unlike what I just dreamt, I exhaled. All day long this thought kept ringing in my mind like an echo. The inner voice tried to shut me up, but I was reluctant to do so. What inner voice are you talking about? Asked my friend. Oh! You can’t see it, but I know, it’s the real self hidden within.
What did I just say? A hidden self? That another can’t see? Right! I am invisible. I am invisible till the time somebody or everybody recognizes me. Listen up close, there is a difference between getting noticed and recognized. “I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids — and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me,” said Ralph Ellison the late author who is famous for his 1952 existentialist novel, Invisible Man.
Remember the magical cloak used by Harry Potter in his movies? Yeah! Certain literary characters preferred this cloak of anonymity while they acted nameless throughout their story.
Few compelling uses of nameless characters are as follows: http://www.flavorwire.com
The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman
A nameless woman is confined to her bedroom by her physician husband. She’s been diagnosed with a vague nervous affliction, the details of which are recorded in a secret journal she hides from him. The conclusion of the story is hotly debated. Some see the character’s surreal visions of women hidden within the wallpaper of her room as a descent into madness. Others call it a feminist epiphany — a realization that there is no freedom in marriage and a triumph over her inner world. The nameless woman becomes a universal symbol of female social oppression during the 19th century.
The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene
Haunted by his past, pursued by an anti-clerical government, and struggling with his devotion to God, the unnamed “whiskey” priest in Greene’s parable reflects his uncertainty and weakness. His formlessness and failings allow us to identify with the man who is ultimately “too human for heroism, too humble for martyrdom.”
Everyman, Philip Roth
Roth’s spare novel recounts one man’s death. We are introduced to his working class beginnings, spent working in his father’s jewelry store. We learn of three marriages and divorces, mistresses, surgeries, and later, retirement at the New Jersey shore. Roth makes us face the inevitability of aging and death in a mere 182 pages — our identity quickly torn asunder. “Old age isn’t a battle; old age is a massacre.”
The Tell-Tale Heart, Edgar Allan Poe
Poe’s macabre short story, as told by a murderer who tries to convince us of his sanity, is a classic example of the unreliable narrator. The mystery surrounding the gender of the storyteller has led some people to speculate that the “madman” could very well be a woman, even suggesting that this could influence our sympathies for the troubled narrator.
Blindness, José Saramago
A mysterious epidemic inflicting sightlessness upon the unnamed residents of an unnamed city threatens the collapse of society. Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago reveals a simultaneously bleak and hopeful view of humankind — people incapable of saving even themselves by banding together and those who offer selfless generosity. The dystopian allegory reveals the universality of these social orders in Saramago’s unnamed players with a striking, intimate style.
So, what happens when you encounter a nameless protagonist? Are you still able to draw a picture of the character portrayed? I think while you are analyzing what the protagonist’s name could be, you might just stumble upon your inner self. They might be the mirror you never wanted to face. They might be someone with whom you can resonate.
However, PepperScript found someone who is not nameless, but lacks identity. Or maybe she is hiding her true self?
Ruby, protagonist of the story, is a 25 years old woman with a fair and clear complexion, deep set honey colored eyes, dark brown wavy hair falling till her shoulders, sharp nose, pale pair of lips and a clearly defined jaw line. She is an easy display of confidence and composure but inwardly innocent woman. To her genuineness is important, for pretensions won’t last long with this woman. She is blissfully ignorant of the ways of the world. She has a constant brooding look on her face; why? That is for the writers to decode.
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DEADLINE 1st week of July 2015