Presenting Protagonists Placed in Prison

Thank you Dave Astor for this ‘captivating’ post.

Dave Astor on Literature

In last week’s post about author aliases, I mentioned a couple of writers (O. Henry and Voltaire) who spent time in jail. That gave me the idea to focus this week’s post on some of literature’s incarcerated characters.

Yes, I know all characters are imprisoned inside book covers or Kindles, and are sentenced to appear in sentences. But only some protagonists are actually caged in fictional slammers.

Being in jail can certainly make for dramatic, intense reading. Is the character guilty or innocent? A “regular” prisoner or a political prisoner? In a brutal facility or (if rich enough) a “country club” jail? On death row? A prisoner of war? Is racism involved? How is the detainee dealing with the loss of freedom? How long before release? Is an escape planned or possible? Etc. All of that can “raise the bars” in keeping a viewer glued to the page.

In Charles…

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