Character Analysis: No Great Misunderstood

983 Words4 Pages
Often, people believe that their personality and character traits are unique to them, when in reality, our personalities are affected by the significant people in our lives. This tendency is easier to observe in literature than in real life. In literature, we have a central character set out for us, as well as the people who are in that character’s life. In his novel, “No Great Mischief,” Alistair MacLeod features a narrator, Alexander MacDonald, who looks back on his own past paying close attention to the stories and histories of the people in his large Gaelic family. Many of the people in his family have great effects on Alexander’s development and personality, but one in particular stands out as influential. In this essay, I will explore…show more content…
A great example of one such characteristic is the tendency to reflect on events in the past. This characteristic is clear in Alexander who is narrating a story composed of events that mainly take place in the past, but is a little bit harder to find in his Grandpa. Often, Grandpa would make references to the opportunity he was given by Grandfather to become the “caretaker” of the new hospital in town, and even more often when Grandpa narrates and reflects on the events of the MacDonald’s ancestors in the 1700’s in Scotland. While this characteristic is present in Grandfather as well as Grandpa but when considering the way in which Alexander reflects on the past it is clear that he inherited this specific characteristic from Grandpa. More than reflective, both characters are idealistic about the past in a way that almost romanticizes previous happenings. Grandpa shows this characteristic when he is working on his tax return, saying that he prefers to picture his anscestors returning from battle as happy to be home and “singing the choruses of their rousing songs” as opposed to Grandfather’s reflection of them “thinking of the dead they left behind” (MacLeod 90). Alexander exhibits this idealistic reflection through out the novel including his recollection of the house in which his older brothers lived in their youth.…show more content…
As stated in a magazine in Alexander’s office, “grandparents have a tendency to be overindulgent and sometimes to act irresponsibly” (MacLeod 67). While his Grandpa didn’t make a lot of money, he treated Alexander and his sister well, providing them with a caring home after their parents’ death. While this itself is not a personality trait, it is related to the development of personality and growth of character. By being exposed to a loving and caring environment growing up, Alexander himself became more confident in his life. This confidence is not overt, but when considering the opportunities that Alex pursued in life —leaving Cape Breton to go to University when most of the people in his family worked laborious jobs— it is clear that he was confident in his abilities. This confidence was something that resulted from Alexander spending so much time around his cheerful and happy

More about Character Analysis: No Great Misunderstood

Open Document