Joelyn's Book Bites

Book Bites: Character Analysis – Jan Xu


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I had “itchy fingers” today – which means writing a post here. But while looking for topics to talk about, I decided to do something that has been going on in my head for a while – Literary Analysis.

Let me remind you that it’s been eight (8) years since I conducted some kind of Literary Analysis of any sorts (‘O’ Level English Literature) so I might be a little rusty.

My subject today?: Character Analysis – Jan Xu, protagonist from the Myriad Series by J Damask.


Jan Xu is a mother of three (Aurora, April, and Aidan – appeared only in Obsidian), an ex-teacher and now currently a homemaker. Her family’s a clan of wolves or Lang, as stated in Wolf at the Door, and she got promoted to Pack Leader and possessor of The Eye in Obsidian Moon Obsidian Eye. (You can get the e-Books here)


Now what I’m going to do next is a technique I picked up from one of my teachers in English Literature. It makes character and scene analysis so much easier because it follows the same flow of profiling – Person -> Trait -> Evidence -> Conclusion.

*Note: There are many traits and profiles she can have, depending on your view. However, you’ll need to back it up with sufficient evidence. That’s how Literature and basic analysis works. I’m just going to concentrate on one for now.

The role of Alpha was handed to her at the end of “Wolf at the Door”, but we could actually see the signs of pressure before. She was born to alpha wolves, who handed her the power. And while it is claimed that she loves being Lang and savours the moment, the same cannot be said about her Alpha role.

For people having problems with English Literature, I welcome you to use this technique, it has helped me over the years and that’s probably why I got an interest in profiling and character development.

It would also be good to note that the writing could relate to the psyche of the writer, which will be very useful if you were to do a more extensive literary analysis. While I subscribe to the notion that authors will write what they want, I’d still like to believe that there’s a motivation on why.

For example, I won’t be surprised if the writer herself is a spiritually open person, seeking solace in the metaphysical or questioning what lies beyond life. Her style of writing has a lot of underlying internal communication, so it could suggest that the writer herself is constantly reflective, and rather organic in seeking relief, probably heading to something very natural (not necessarily nature, but she probably tends to avoid massive commercialization).

Disclaimer: There is no guarantee that the psyche of the writer as interpreted from how they write will be accurate. However, it will be interesting to see what you may think when you spot a pattern in various styles from the same writer. It may just help you understand the writing a bit more.

So yes, as you can see, genre fiction can be used to teach Literature in schools. All you need to do is to be creative. In this age where we’re constantly progressing, creativity will help us through.

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