Definition: marked by unaffected simplicity; lacking in worldly wisdom
Characters in Literature: King Arthur, Wilbur (Charlotte’s Web), Forrest Gump, Primrose Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
Common Portrayals: children, the mentally challenged, the elderly, recent graduates, the uneducated, Christians and other religious people
Clichés to Avoid: the naïve character who falls in with the wrong crowd and becomes jaded by the story’s end, the poor widow being financially ruined due to her naivety, the naive graduate who learns the ways of the world and ends up a savvy, ruthless businessman
Twists on the Traditional Naïve Character:
- In literature, naïve characters are always cured of of their naivety by the story’s end. What about a naïve character who is able to resolve her conflict while maintaining her innocence and purity?
- Naïve characters are often cast in the supporting role, with a main character who looks out for them. Instead, make the naïve character the one who must be responsible for someone else.
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