“Tags” Static Character Argument

The short story, “Tags” by Walter Dean Myers, is about a group of ghosts that all meet up at a wall to spray paint it in order to keep they’re names and memories alive. One of the protagonists, D’Mario, is a static character because even after he learns about the things he did to one of the other ghosts, J-Boy, he doesn’t care about his situation and doesn’t try to help or comfort him.

J-BOY “I ain’t leaving. You got no power over me, sucker.

D’MARIO “Fool’s dead and still talking smack! And tagging with a spray can. That’s old. You can’t tag with no spray can.”

This scene shows D’Mario’s personality towards other ghosts and how he likes to insult others, even when he’s just meeting them for the first time. His smack-talking personality also shows up when another character, Willie, talks about his death.

D’MARIO “How did you go down?”

. . .

WILLIE “Yeah, and all I wanted to do is get some cigarettes, let the fool know I could have robbed him, and walk out the damned door! but now I’m struggling with this old man and he’s holding onto my gun and crying and begging and carrying on. I ain’t letting the gun go and he ain’t letting the gun go. Then the two sisters come in ans see what’s going on and duck right back out. I think they might be calling the cops or something, so I let go of the gun and punch the old man, and it goes off and hits me in the neck.”

D’MARIO “You killed yourself!”

Even after Willie opens up and shares his story about his death, all D’Mario does is make fun of him, again not caring about his words or actions. Even during emotional moments, D’Mario doesn’t care about his actions, or the people around him. This type of characteristic appears again later towards the end of the story where he finds out that he had killed one of the ghosts that were also in the room with him,

J-BOY (Reaches for D’MARIO but goes through him) “You killed me, m***er***r! You killed me! you killed me!”

. . .

D’MARIO “Man, I didn’t know what was going on. It was an accident!” . . . “You can’t do nothing to me now. I can’t do nothing to you. It’s too late. The shit is over. We can’t turn it back.”

This scene is the most key evidence that D’Mario is a static character because after J-Boy breaks down in a state of emotional distress, learning that D’Mario killed him, all D’Mario says to him, is that J-Boy being killed, is just life. Never once apologizing for his actions, or comforting him as he breaks down crying.

“Tags” Argumentative Essay

The short story, “Tags” by Walter Dean Myers presents the ghost of Big Eddie as a round and dynamic character. To start off, Big Eddie is shown to have emotions inside of himself, even though he is in the afterlife. The story is set in a place where the dead walk upon the living, with “Tags” being the way people could remember the deceased. Big Eddie confirms this by saying, ‘”When that old dude told me you could still be in the world as long as people kept you in their minds, I knew what I had to do. They see these tags and they remember”‘ (Pg.74). Eddie explains how he knows that if someone makes tags, people in the non-deceased world remember them. This reveals how Big Eddie is someone who has hidden emotions by hinting that he fears being forgotten in the world, further developing his character. Additionally, Big Eddie explains how he died, which is able to make the reader to figure out more clues about the character. Big Eddie claims, ‘”I told this dude to meet me in the park and he said okay. When he showed with the money, I tried to take him off, and he flashed a badge on me.’ ‘A cop.’ ‘Yeah. I had my piece out and was about to hit the dude, when his partner shot me”‘ (Pg.74-75). Big Eddie opens up that he was someone who was killed by a police officer for selling drugs and attempted assault. This unlocks the fact that Big Eddie was someone who was caught up in the criminal lifestyle and paid the heavy price. This is able to make Big Eddie much less admirable, but a much more depth character. To finish off, Big Eddie is able to show more feelings about himself, unlocking a new door in his mind. In the story, different characters are explaining to each other how they died, with a few of them freaking out about what happened. Big Eddie does not freak out but he does say this, “‘Being alive ain’t tagging. Being alive is walking the damned streets, and making love, and listening to some music. This is just hanging on to what you know already is gone. This ain’t nothing like no life”‘ (Pg.83). Eddie realizes that this life in the afterworld is much more than being alive. This predicts that Big Eddie regrets his actions that caused him his death. He realizes that the rest of his afterlife is in shame and pain. He can never go back, which makes the reader come back to respect him once again because he is ashamed of his actions. These pieces of evidence prove that Big Eddie from “Tags” is a round character in the story.

Dynamic or Static- an analysis

In Daniel Jose Older’s short story A Stranger at the Bochinche, the main character Ramses is a static character. This is shown through Ramese’s devotion to Rosie, his girlfriend. A ‘stranger’ from a rival group causes mischief and steals Rosie’s notebook. Daniel says, right after the stranger does this, “Ramses hadn’t said a word in as long as anyone had known him. Rosie knew how to read the tiny details of his face like it was a language of its own.” As stated before, Rosie and Ramses seem to have a solid relationship. After this, Rosie and Ramses chase down the stranger to get back Rosie’s notebook. When they find it they say, “You have my notebook?” Rosie whispered. Ramses nodded, barely suppressing his smile. He knew what to do.“Then let’s go,” Rosie said, clutching him tightly. Though this is an isolated incident and probably not the best story to fit the prompt, I do feel like Rosie and Ramses’ relationship is a strong example of a static character.