A Typical Novel Hero Charlie Salter Essay

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A Typical Novel Hero (Charlie Salter) Essay, Research Paper Eric Wright is an author who has developed into one of Canada s greatest mystery writers. Wright portrays Charlie Salter, the detective in his series of novels, as a heroic character. As defined in the dictionary a hero is… A man of distinguished valor or enterprise in danger, or fortitude in suffering; a prominent or central personage in any remarkable action or event; hence, a great or illustrious person ( Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary). In many of our novels today heroes are characterized by their romantic appeal, physical strength,and by valor in battle. Therefore, by examining Charlie Salter in these three areas; romance, physical strength, and valor in battle; it will become evident that he is

a classic modern day novel hero. Although Salter may not be described as the sexiest man alive, nor is he even in his prime, he does have some unique charms which make him seem handsome and appealing to many women. In the following paragraphs it will become obvious how Wright uses these qualities to characterize Salter as being a romantic type of hero. To begin, Salter s wife would frequently become paranoid that she was going to lose him to other females in the stories. Near the beginning of A Question of Murder, Charlie and his wife are laying in bed in the morning. Just as Charlie is going to head off into the bathroom to get ready for work Mrs. Salter shoots him one of her usual comments, You know, all the women in my church group think you are very handsome and that you must

make an excellent husband … I hope you re not seeing that tramp of a witness again today, from what you tell me I think she really likes you. (A Question of Murder, pg. 38). After hearing these flattering things from his wife, Salter reassured his her that he would never cheat on her, and that she was the only woman in his life. Secondly, another example of Salter fitting the stereotype of a romantic hero is found here. He was once interviewing a 25-year-old girl, approximately half his age to find out some details in a murder case. She seemed to be strangely attracted to him and wanted to make their next visit a non business meeting. Hey Charlie, do you wanna catch a movie with me tomorrow? , (A Question of Murder pg. 73) she asks him as she leaves his office. Throughout his

meetings with Ashley Salter s charismatic charm had an effect on her. As a man of integrity and some modesty, he is not tempted or swayed by this attention. Thirdly, it is made evident that Salter has a unique, romantic charm by many women throughout the novels when Charlie was making a routine visit to the wife of a murder victim. Instead of having her to the office she insisted on having their meeting over at her house. While they were sitting on her porch, about midway through their conversation, Mrs. Summer s starts to throw herself at Charlie. She says to him, Charlie, can I show you around, maybe upstairs? (A Question of Murder pg. 144) This made Charlie feel uncomfortable, but he replied very kindly, ….sorry but I must be getting to the office to document our interview.

(A Question of Murder pg. 145). From this example it is apparent that Wright once again portrays Salter as being romantic, and sexually appealing to other women. As a result, Wright has projected his main character, Charlie Salter, as a stereotypical novel hero in the area of romance. Strength is another way in which Wright portrays Charlie Salter as a typical novel hero. Strength comes in many shapes and forms. In the earlier novels Salter was somewhat obese, and definitely out of shape. While laying in bed one morning, he said to his wife, My physique isn t what it once was. (A Question of Murder pg.24). Immediately after saying this Salter made a vow to himself to get back into the physical condition he once had during his early years on the force. Salter is showing a strong