Learn all about the stock character of the Author Surrogate, including personality traits and examples.
Author Surrogate Stock Character
If you’re a fan of literature, you’ve probably come across the concept of an author surrogate stock character.
But what exactly does that mean?
Well, imagine a character in a book who bears striking similarities to the author themselves.
This character often serves as a vessel for the author’s thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, allowing them to explore their own ideas through fiction.
The use of an author surrogate can add depth and authenticity to a story.
It allows readers to glimpse into the mind of the writer and offers a unique perspective on various themes and issues.
By embodying certain qualities or sharing similar life experiences with the author, these characters can connect with readers on a deeper level.
However, it’s important to note that not all authors employ this technique or create an explicit surrogate character.
Some writers prefer to keep their personal lives separate from their fictional works.
Nevertheless, when an author does choose to include an identifiable surrogate character, it can provide insight into their motivations and give readers a more intimate understanding of their work.
So whether you’re intrigued by the idea of diving into an author’s psyche through their characters or simply curious about how these surrogates enhance storytelling, exploring the world of author surrogacy is sure to be an enlightening journey.
Want to learn more about character archetypes? Read about the 12 best character archetype examples here.
What is the Author Surrogate Stock Character?
The Author Surrogate Stock Character is a literary device that involves the creation of a character who shares traits with its author or creator.
This character serves as a representation or stand-in for the author, allowing them to express their thoughts, beliefs, and experiences through the narrative.
The concept of an Author Surrogate can manifest in various ways.
Sometimes, the surrogate may be disguised to some degree, while in other instances, there may be little attempt to differentiate them from the author.
For example, they might share the same first name and job occupation.
This stock character serves multiple purposes within a story.
It allows authors to inject their personal perspectives and opinions into their work without directly inserting themselves as characters.
Through this surrogate, authors can explore themes and ideas that are important to them in a more subtle and nuanced manner.
By using an Author Surrogate, writers can also provide readers with insights into their own lives and experiences.
The surrogate acts as a conduit through which readers can gain a deeper understanding of the author’s thought processes, motivations, and worldview.
Additionally, an Author Surrogate can help establish credibility for certain aspects of a story by drawing on the author’s expertise or personal experiences.
This adds authenticity and depth to the narrative by incorporating real-life knowledge or insights into fictional situations.
However, it’s important to note that not all characters who share similarities with their creators are necessarily intended as ‘Author Surrogates.’
Sometimes these similarities arise naturally due to shared backgrounds or interests between authors and their characters.
Overall, the Author Surrogate Stock Character is a powerful tool used by writers to channel their own perspectives into fictional narratives.
It allows authors to explore themes close to their hearts while providing readers with unique insights into their lives and experiences.
By utilizing this technique effectively, authors can create engaging stories that resonate deeply with audiences.
8 Characteristics of the Author Surrogate
The Author Surrogate is a stock character commonly found in literature, film, and television.
This character serves as a stand-in for the author, allowing them to express their thoughts, opinions, and experiences through a fictional counterpart.
Here are some key characteristics that define the Author Surrogate:
1. Similar Background
The Author Surrogate often shares similarities with the author in terms of their background, profession, or personal experiences. This allows the author to draw from their own knowledge and perspectives when developing the character.
2. Voicing the Author’s Opinions
One of the primary functions of an Author Surrogate is to articulate the author’s beliefs and viewpoints. Through this character, the author can explore themes, ideas, and social commentary that align with their own values.
3. Narrative Proximity
The Author Surrogate tends to occupy a prominent role within the narrative structure. They may be portrayed as a central protagonist or have frequent interactions with other main characters. This ensures that their voice is heard throughout the story.
4. Emotional Engagement
The emotions experienced by the Author Surrogate often mirror those felt by the author themselves. By investing these feelings into their surrogate character, authors can create an emotional connection between readers/viewers and their work.
Authors use an Author Surrogate as a means of self-reflection and introspection. Through this character’s journey and development, they can explore personal growth or address unresolved issues that resonate with them on a deeper level.
6. Audience Identification
The traits assigned to an Author Surrogate are often relatable or aspirational qualities intended to resonate with readers/viewers who share similar experiences or desires.
7. Autobiographical Elements
While not always explicitly autobiographical, elements from an author’s life may find their way into an Author Surrogate’s backstory or personality traits.
8. Creative License
Despite being representative of the author, the Author Surrogate is still a fictional character and may be subject to creative liberties or exaggerations to enhance the storytelling.
In conclusion, the Author Surrogate serves as a vessel for authors to convey their thoughts, opinions, and experiences within a fictional context. Through this character, they can engage with readers/viewers on a personal level while exploring universal themes and ideas.
Author Surrogate Examples
Here are a few examples of author surrogate characters in literature and popular culture:
- Jon Arbuckle (Garfield)
Jon Arbuckle, the owner of Garfield the Cat, serves as an author surrogate character in the beloved comic strip created by Jim Davis. Through Jon’s interactions with Garfield and the other characters in the strip, Davis often expresses his own thoughts, humor, and observations about life. Jon’s struggles with relationships, work, and everyday challenges mirror those of the author, making him a relatable conduit for Davis’ own experiences.
- Stan Marsh and Kyle Broflovski (South Park)
In the animated series South Park, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone use characters Stan Marsh and Kyle Broflovski as their author surrogates. Through these characters’ perspectives on various social issues and controversies, Parker and Stone offer their satirical commentary on current events. Stan represents more of Parker’s point of view, while Kyle embodies Stone’s perspective, allowing them to explore different angles within their storytelling.
- Ralphie Parker (A Christmas Story)
In Jean Shepherd’s semi-autobiographical novel “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash,” which was later adapted into the film “A Christmas Story,” Ralphie Parker serves as an author surrogate for Shepherd himself. The story follows young Ralphie’s quest to receive a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas amidst family dynamics and holiday shenanigans. Shepherd uses Ralphie to capture his own childhood memories of growing up in Indiana during the 1940s.
- Henry Chinaski in Barfly (surrogate for Charles Bukowski)
Henry Chinaski is a fictional character created by renowned writer Charles Bukowski. Chinaski appears as an alter ego or surrogate for Bukowski in several of his works, most notably in “Barfly.” This semi-autobiographical novel explores Chinaski’s experiences living a bohemian lifestyle and struggling with alcoholism, similar to Bukowski’s own life. Through Chinaski, Bukowski expresses his gritty observations on the human condition and the hardships of being a writer.
- Hermione in Harry Potter (surrogate for JK Rowling)
Rowling has mentioned in interviews that she identified with Hermione Granger’s love for books and knowledge, which is why Hermione shares some characteristics with the author. Though on this occasion, this does not mean that Hermione is a direct representation of Rowling as a whole. Authors often may insert parts of themselves into numerous characters.
These examples illustrate how author surrogate characters can serve as a vehicle for authors to channel their own thoughts, experiences, and perspectives into their works.
By embodying these characters, authors can explore themes close to their hearts while engaging readers in a relatable and meaningful way.