Learn all about the stock character of the Everyman, including personality traits and examples.
Everyman Stock Character
The Everyman stock character is a familiar figure in literature and drama, representing the average person or the “common man.”
This archetype often serves as a relatable protagonist who faces everyday challenges and experiences that resonate with audiences.
The Everyman character is not defined by extraordinary abilities or exceptional qualities but rather by their ordinariness and relatability.
In many stories, the Everyman serves as a vessel for the audience to project themselves onto, allowing them to connect emotionally with the narrative.
This character represents universal human experiences such as love, loss, ambition, and struggle.
By embodying these common traits, the Everyman becomes a symbol of collective humanity.
Through the journey of an Everyman character, we are reminded of our shared struggles and triumphs.
Their story taps into our own desires for personal growth and self-discovery.
Whether it’s in classic plays like Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” or modern films like “Forrest Gump,” the Everyman stock character continues to captivate audiences with its ability to mirror our own lives back at us.
So next time you find yourself engrossed in a story or play featuring an ordinary protagonist facing extraordinary circumstances, remember that they represent more than just one individual – they represent all of us on our own unique journeys through life.
What is the Everyman Stock Character?
The Everyman stock character represents an ordinary, humble individual who often serves as a relatable stand-in for the audience or reader.
This archetype can be found in various forms of storytelling, including literature, theater, and film.
The primary characteristic of the Everyman stock character is their relatability.
They embody the qualities and experiences that many people can identify with, making them a familiar presence in narratives.
By representing the average person, they provide a lens through which audiences can connect with the story on a personal level.
The Everyman character is intentionally portrayed as unremarkable or average in terms of talent, skills, or status.
They don’t possess extraordinary abilities or exceptional traits that set them apart from others.
Instead, they navigate through situations using their common sense and everyday wisdom.
The appeal of the Everyman stock character lies in its universality.
Regardless of cultural background or societal position, people from all walks of life can recognize themselves in this character type.
Their struggles and triumphs resonate with human experiences and emotions on a fundamental level.
Another vital function of the Everyman character is to act as an audience proxy within the narrative structure.
Through their perspective and reactions, they reflect how ordinary individuals might respond to extraordinary circumstances or challenges presented by the plot.
While initially depicted as an average individual lacking exceptional qualities, the Everyman stock character often undergoes personal growth throughout their journey.
This growth may involve gaining confidence, discovering hidden strengths, or realizing important life lessons.
To sum up, the Everyman stock character serves as both a relatable figure for audiences to connect with and a vessel for exploring universal themes and experiences within storytelling mediums such as literature, theater, and film.
Their ability to capture our attention and sympathy lies in their ordinary nature, making them a valuable tool for writers to engage and resonate with a wide range of readers and viewers.
7 Characteristics of the Everyman
The Everyman stock character is a relatable figure that represents the average person.
It is a universal archetype that can be found in literature, theater, and film.
The Everyman embodies the qualities and experiences of ordinary individuals, making them highly relatable to audiences.
Here are some key characteristics that define the Everyman:
1. Average appearance
The Everyman typically has an unremarkable physical appearance, blending into a crowd effortlessly. This helps to emphasize their relatability and makes it easier for audiences to project themselves onto the character.
2. Common background
The Everyman often comes from humble beginnings and has a regular job or occupation. They lead a simple life without any extraordinary achievements or exceptional talents.
3. Everyday struggles
One of the defining traits of the Everyman is their ability to face everyday challenges and obstacles that many people encounter in their lives. These struggles can range from financial difficulties to relationship problems, allowing audiences to empathize with them on a personal level.
4. Moral compass
Despite their flaws and imperfections, the Everyman usually possesses strong moral values and tries to do what is right in difficult situations. Their ethical dilemmas resonate with audiences as they navigate through complex choices while staying true to their principles.
5. Reluctant heroism
In certain narratives, the Everyman may find themselves thrust into unexpected circumstances where they must rise above their limitations and exhibit acts of bravery or heroism. However, unlike traditional heroes, they approach these challenges with hesitation or uncertainty.
6. Emotional depth
The Everyman often displays a range of emotions that reflect common human experiences like joy, sadness, fear, love, or anger. This emotional vulnerability allows audiences to connect with them more deeply as they go through trials and tribulations.
7. Transformation potential
While initially representing an ordinary individual, the Everyman has room for growth and transformation throughout their journey. They may discover hidden strengths, learn valuable life lessons, or undergo personal development, making them relatable and inspiring to audiences.
The Everyman stock character embodies the qualities and experiences of ordinary individuals.
Their average appearance, common background, everyday struggles, moral compass, reluctant heroism, emotional depth, and transformation potential make them highly relatable to audiences.
Whether in literature or on screen, the Everyman serves as a mirror for us all to see our own hopes, fears, and aspirations reflected back at us.
- Arthur Dent in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams
Arthur Dent is a perfect example of the Everyman character. He’s an ordinary human who suddenly finds himself thrust into extraordinary circumstances when Earth is destroyed. His confusion and attempts to understand the bizarre universe around him mirror the audience’s own feelings of wonder and confusion.
- George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life”
George Bailey represents the everyday man who struggles with his dreams, responsibilities, and moral dilemmas. His character resonates with many as he navigates life’s ups and downs, reflecting the ordinary person’s struggles and triumphs.
- Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller
Willy Loman is the epitome of the Everyman in the context of the American Dream. His struggles with his job, family, and self-worth are universal themes that many people can relate to. His tragic end also speaks to the disillusionment that can accompany the pursuit of success.
- Bilbo Baggins in “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
Bilbo is a humble hobbit who enjoys a simple life until he’s thrust into an adventure. His journey from a timid and ordinary individual to a brave and resourceful hero makes him an Everyman character that readers can see in themselves.
- Tom Joad in “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck
Tom Joad’s struggles to find work and dignity during the Great Depression are emblematic of the hardships faced by many during that era. His journey and growth reflect the human condition and the pursuit of a better life.
- Nick Carraway in “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Nick serves as both the narrator and the Everyman character in the novel. He’s an observer and participant but also an ordinary person caught in the extraordinary world of Gatsby. Through Nick, readers can explore the decadence and disillusionment of the Jazz Age.
- Chief Brody in “Jaws”
Chief Brody’s struggle against the shark in “Jaws” is not just a battle against a creature but also against his own fears and the pressures of the community. He’s an Everyman character caught in an extraordinary situation, representing the fear and determination that exist in everyone.
- Truman Burbank in “The Truman Show”
Truman’s life as an ordinary man suddenly takes a turn when he realizes that his entire life is a TV show. His journey of self-discovery and breaking free is symbolic of the Everyman’s search for truth and authenticity.
These characters are compelling because they are relatable and reflect common human experiences, emotions, and dilemmas.
Whether they’re dealing with personal struggles, societal pressures, or existential questions, the
The Everyman character allows audiences and readers to see themselves in the story, creating a connection that goes beyond mere entertainment.