Flat Character Examples

Flat Character

A flat character is a character in a literary text that is not very well developed by the author. In other words, a flat character has no depth. The author does not spend time developing the character, and the reader knows very little about this character. A flat character is typically a minor character, or a character that is supposed to represent a stereotype or generalization. Flat characters also do not change during the course of the story.

Examples of Flat Character:

The parents in a book that is mostly about a group of teenagers and the problems they encounter navigating the social situations in a high school.

The teacher in the Charlie Brown series.

Examples of Flat Characters from Literature:

In Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, Juliet's mother is a flat character. Her main role in the play is to advance Paris as the man that Juliet should marry.

In the Harry Potter series, Crabbe and Goyle are flat characters. They are Draco Malfoy's Slytherin friends, but we do not learn much about them and they are just there to be his sidekicks.

In Huck Finn, the Widow Douglas is a flat character. She is a strict, Christian woman who has decided ideas about how Huck should behave. She is there to underscore Huck's childlike open-mindedness.

In the Star Wars movie A New Hope, Luke's Uncle Owen is a flat character. He lives a simple farming life and we learn little else about him before he is killed and Luke begins his adventures.

In S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, Cherry's boyfriend Bob would be an example of a flat character. He dislikes the "greasers" and is there to reflect the divide between the two social classes.

Related Links:
Literary Terms Examples