Carlyle

Outer characterization

Carlyle is the main character in the short story “Last Bridge Burned” by Ron Rash. Carlyle’s outer characterization shows him as a middle-aged man of “almost sixty” (l.67) who runs an isolated gas station. He probably has a low income as he lives in a “one bed” (l. 64) house. He seems to have had a troubled past, as he “had lost three jobs and two wives” (l. 8). Additionally, the text hints that he has struggled with alcoholism in the past (ll. 68-70).

Inner characterization

One of the key aspects of Carlyle’s life is that he has settled for a solitary, isolated lifestyle. This is indicated by his workplace on the interstate, his lonely home with “nail holes in the walls where pictures once hung” (ll. 152 -153), as well as by his life philosophy illustrated at the end: “After all, his life was settled. No ups, no downs. Be gr...

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