A Collapse of Horses
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"A Collapse of Horses" Characters Analysis

By Brian Evenson

horror | 220 pages | Published in NaN

ISBN_13: 9781566894135

Estimated read time: 8 min read

A Collapse of Horses: Character Analysis

List of Characters

CharacterRole
JohnProtagonist
SarahJohn's Wife
The DoctorAntagonist
The NeighborSupporting Character
The DetectiveSupporting Character

Role Identification

In "A Collapse of Horses" by Brian Evenson, the characters play different roles that contribute to the overall narrative. John, the protagonist, is at the center of the story, while Sarah, his wife, provides support and adds depth to John's character. The Doctor serves as the main antagonist, creating tension and conflict. The Neighbor and The Detective play supporting roles, providing information and driving the plot forward.

Character Descriptions

John

John is a middle-aged man who is struggling with his sanity throughout the book. He is described as a tall and thin individual, with a perpetually worried expression on his face. His hair is graying, and he often appears disheveled, reflecting his internal turmoil. John's physical appearance mirrors his mental state, as he becomes increasingly paranoid and disturbed.

Sarah

Sarah is John's wife, and her character is depicted as caring and supportive. She is described as having a warm and gentle demeanor, with a calm presence that contrasts with John's increasing agitation. Sarah is a source of stability in John's life, providing comfort and attempting to help him navigate his unraveling reality.

The Doctor

The Doctor is a mysterious and sinister figure who plays a crucial role in the story. He is described as having a cold and calculating demeanor, with a sharp gaze that unnerves those around him. The Doctor is an expert in his field but lacks empathy, which adds to his menacing presence. He becomes a catalyst for John's descent into madness, pushing him to question his own reality.

The Neighbor

The Neighbor is a supporting character who lives next door to John and Sarah. He is described as reclusive and eccentric, rarely seen outside his home. The Neighbor's character contributes to the sense of unease in the book, as he often acts strangely and seems to have his own secrets. He becomes a source of curiosity for John, who suspects that The Neighbor may be involved in the strange occurrences happening around him.

The Detective

The Detective is a supporting character who becomes involved in the story as John seeks answers to his increasingly bizarre experiences. He is described as a seasoned investigator, with a no-nonsense attitude and a keen eye for detail. The Detective serves as a source of guidance for John, providing insights and helping him navigate the complexities of his situation.

Character Traits

John

  • Paranoid
  • Disturbed
  • Anxious
  • Obsessive
  • Vulnerable

Sarah

  • Caring
  • Supportive
  • Calm
  • Patient
  • Understanding

The Doctor

  • Mysterious
  • Sinister
  • Cold
  • Calculating
  • Manipulative

The Neighbor

  • Reclusive
  • Eccentric
  • Strange
  • Enigmatic
  • Suspicious

The Detective

  • Seasoned
  • Observant
  • Pragmatic
  • Knowledgeable
  • Tenacious

Character Background

John

John's background is not extensively explored in the book, but it is implied that he had a stable and relatively normal life before the events of the story. He is established as a middle-aged man with a steady job and a loving wife. However, as the narrative progresses, it becomes clear that John has a history of mental health issues, which adds complexity to his character and contributes to the unfolding events.

Sarah

Sarah's background is also not explicitly discussed, but she is portrayed as a supportive and caring partner to John. Her presence in John's life suggests that she has been a constant source of stability and love for him. Sarah's background is mostly defined by her relationship with John and her role as his anchor in the face of his deteriorating mental state.

The Doctor

The Doctor's background is shrouded in mystery. He is introduced as an expert in his field, but little is known about his personal life or motivations. His character is defined by his cold and calculating nature, suggesting a lack of empathy and a single-minded focus on his own objectives.

The Neighbor

The Neighbor's background remains largely unknown throughout the book. He is portrayed as a recluse with eccentric behavior, which fuels speculation about his past. His character's enigmatic nature adds an element of intrigue and suspicion to the narrative.

The Detective

The Detective's background is not extensively explored in the book. He is presented as a seasoned investigator with a wealth of experience. His character's background is defined by his professionalism and expertise in solving complex cases.

Character Arcs

John

John's character arc revolves around his descent into madness and his struggle to discern reality from delusion. Initially anxious and paranoid, John's mental state deteriorates as he becomes more obsessed with unraveling the mysteries around him. His arc culminates in a climactic confrontation with The Doctor, where he confronts his own demons and confronts the truth about his own sanity.

Sarah

Sarah's character arc is intertwined with John's arc. As John's wife, she starts as a supportive and caring presence, but as the events unfold, she is forced to question her own reality and confront the possibility that John's delusions may be rooted in something more sinister. Her arc is one of resilience and strength as she navigates the challenges of supporting her troubled husband while also protecting herself.

The Doctor

The Doctor's character arc is centered around his manipulation of John and his drive to achieve his own objectives. His arc is one of control and power as he exploits John's vulnerabilities for his own gain. The Doctor remains consistent in his sinister nature, with his arc serving as a catalyst for John's unraveling and ultimate confrontation.

The Neighbor

The Neighbor's character arc remains somewhat ambiguous throughout the book. While he initially appears as a mysterious and potentially malevolent presence, his true intentions and motivations are never fully revealed. His arc is one of intrigue and suspicion, leaving the reader questioning his role and significance in the narrative.

The Detective

The Detective's character arc is relatively straightforward. He serves as a guide and mentor to John, providing him with information and insights into the strange occurrences happening around him. The Detective's arc is one of assistance and guidance as he helps John navigate the complexities of his situation.

Relationships

John and Sarah

John and Sarah's relationship is the backbone of the story. They are portrayed as a loving and supportive couple, with Sarah providing stability and comfort to John. Their relationship undergoes strain as John's mental state deteriorates, but Sarah's unwavering support serves as a constant throughout the narrative.

John and The Doctor

The relationship between John and The Doctor is one of manipulation and control. The Doctor preys on John's vulnerabilities and exploits his fragile mental state for his own gain. Their relationship is characterized by tension and conflict, leading to a climactic confrontation between the two.

John and The Neighbor

The relationship between John and The Neighbor is one of suspicion and curiosity. John becomes increasingly fixated on The Neighbor, suspecting him of being involved in the strange occurrences happening around him. Their relationship is defined by a sense of unease and mystery, with The Neighbor serving as a source of intrigue in John's unraveling reality.

John and The Detective

The relationship between John and The Detective is one of mentorship and guidance. The Detective becomes a source of information and support for John as he tries to make sense of his experiences. Their relationship is characterized by trust and collaboration as they work together to uncover the truth.

In conclusion, "A Collapse of Horses" by Brian Evenson features a range of complex characters who contribute to the overall narrative. John's descent into madness, Sarah's unwavering support, The Doctor's sinister manipulation, The Neighbor's mysterious presence, and The Detective's guidance all play vital roles in shaping the story. The relationships between these characters provide depth and tension, driving the plot forward and creating a compelling reading experience.