Robert E. Lee Is Dead Character Analysis

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Danielle Evans, the assistant professor of the English department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the author of the Paterson Prize winner Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self. In her collection of short stories, Evans includes “Robert E. Lee is Dead,” a story of a teenage girl named Crystal and her best friend Geena Johnson. Crystal gains popularity when she becomes Geena’s friend. However when their friendship ends, Crystal becomes the antisocial girl who did not fit in with the cool teenagers anymore. Crystal perfectly fits the definition of a morally ambiguous character because she cannot be classified as purely good nor purely evil. Evans’ main purpose of including an ambiguous character, such as Crystal, is so she can create…show more content…
Is she the antagonist or is she the protagonist? Although Crytsal commits many shocking actions, she is a good- hearted person. Crystal, the main character of Evans’ story, is a morally ambiguous character who some readers might identify as bad. Although Crystal is an intelligent student, some of her actions can be defined in other terms. In the short story, Crystal decides to take many risks in order for her to gain popularity. Popularity, after all, is a status that many teenagers like to reach. Crystal tries to gain popularity when she suggests that she knows “what to do about the new vandalism policy,” which was her first step into popularity (Evans 208). Executing an elaborate plan to vandalize her school is amusing to Crystal and her friends. Crystal’s plan succeeded. She went from being known as anti-social to Cee-Cee, and her popularity skyrocketed. Crystal was willing to take a huge risk that can jeopardize her education. Yet, Crystal only thought of her friends and how to fit in with them. In an interview with Melissa Young, Danielle Evans reveals that her characters are having “trouble of outsideness, [and] trying to belong, or actively belonging, in more than one place at once.” This means that Crystal is facing the problem of

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