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.