Character is imperative to the development of the novel, as it is considered to be one of the most contributing factors to the story. There are many different types of characters, and the representation of these characters varies. According to Lodge, these characters can be represented as “major characters and minor characters, flat characters and round characters, characters rendered from inside their minds and characters viewed from outside by others”.
“Older fiction, is to give a physical description and biographical summary.” Lodge considers this to be the simplest way of introducing the character.
Kate Chopin introduces La Folle, in Beyond the Bayou (1894), by giving a brief physical and biographical description, stating that La Folle’s real name was Jacqueline, yet on the plantation everyone called her La Folle. Kate Chopin also gives a physical description of La Folle as she explains her to be “a large, gaunt black woman, past thirty-five”. (41) Kate Chopin continues to introduce characters in relation to La Folle.For example, when introducing P’tit Maitre, Kate chopin gives a short biographical summary “ he was a middle-aged man, with a family of beautiful daughters about him and a little son whom La Folle loved as if he had been her own”.
“Modern novelists usually prefer to let the facts about a character emerge gradually, diversified, or actually conveyed, by action and speech.”
We see in Kate Chopin’s later stories she took the modern approach of introducing characters,in Lilacs (1896), the characters were not introduced out front but rather introduced gradually. “Adrienne Farival never announced her coming, but the good nuns knew very well when to look for her. When the scent of the lilac blossoms began to permeate the air” In the beginning of the story we are given a slight description of Adrienne, giving us a sense of people’s emotions towards her. Through the story we are given characteristics of Adrienne, as it was stated that she has “brown soft eyes”, and later that she had a “quick eye”.