Critical Lens Essay

Nicholas Cage once said, “I like flawed characters because somewhere in them I see more of the truth.

” In other words, Cage believes that if a character ‘pretends’ to be perfect then you will not see who the person really is, and you cannot really relate and connect with that person on a deeper level. This statement is true because through being flawed characters show more of themselves, and become more realistic. Elie from Elie Wiesel’s Night and Yunior from Junot Diaz’s Drown are two characters who are flawed and show who they really are, and therefore as readers we can connect to them.Elie Wiesel, the protagonist in Night, is characterized as someone with many flaws which make him a complex individual.

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Elie has an internal conflict whether to betray his father or not. Elie does not want to be seperated from his father, but his mind is set somewhere else. After all he has been through he says, “I listened to him without interrupting. He was right, I thought deep down, not daring to admit it to myself.

Too late to save your old father. . . You could have two rations of bread, two rations of soup.

. . This quote explains that instead of worrying about his father who is old and sufferring, let him die in peace because if there is one less person Elie gets more bread and soup. Not only that, it is everyman for himself.

He never intended to leave his father, but he did. That is his flaw. Nobody so close to their father would leave him to die. However, even though Elie did this, as readers we understand why. In the situation he was in, he had to fight for his own life. What he has been through in the concentration camps has put many things into his head.It proves that no matter what your intention is you never know what situation you will be in that would make you forget it all.

Yunior, the protagonist in Drown, is someone way different than Elie, but has an internal conflict as well. Yunior’s flaw is that he is stuck between breaking his mom’s heart himself or watching it get broken by his dad. Yunior’s dad does not treat Yunior very much as a son and that results to some other things like Yunior having trouble growing up, having relationship problems that involve some abuse, never going to college, and being very introverted.Yunior’s dad cheats on his mom with a Puerto Rican women and takes Yunior to see her often. Even though that hurts Yunior so much because he wants to tell his mom, he just does not have the guts to do so. It is even worse for him to see his dad touch his mom and behave as if everything is fine.

We as readers also understand why Yunior does this. Nobody wants to see their mom get hurt because their dad did something so hurtful. You would not want to be the one who has to tell her that you knew for a while now. It would hurt her even more that her own child could not come to her and tell her what was going on.

The quote, “I like flawed characters because somewhere in them I see more of the truth,” conveys that readers enjoy flawed characters because they see the truth. It is more interesting and all we want to do is understand and relate to these flawed characters. We might have went through the same exact situations and know what it is like and thats how we relate and connect to these two characters.

Elie from Elie Wiesel’s Night and Yunior from Junot Diaz’s Drown are two characters who have taught us unforgettable messages and have left their stamps on this quote.