Character Traits: Naive and Kind

ms dorothy

Favorite Character Traits

Naïve and Kind

I find that characters who possess this trait tend to be in stories that are humorous or comical. They tend to be unintentional trouble makers because they are often unaware of the danger they are heading into. In many cases from the books and films, especially animation, I’ve read and seen, these characters may not be the main characters, but somehow connected to the main character in some way. Even if they happen to be the main character, there is usually other characters who need to be their hero—save or rescue them from the danger they have put themselves in.

    Naïve:

Naïve means being unaware, not knowing or understanding things that may be inherent or commonplace to the greater population. Naïve is more of a characteristic given to one who should be aware of certain things or things others who are around them would expect them to be aware of. For instance, to me, if a very young child believed that no one was bad in this world, it would not be so naïve of them to think so since they haven’t lived long enough to discover the real truth of their thoughts. However, if an adult believed the same thing, it would be naïve of them, because they have lived long enough to be aware of the real truth of that thought. Characters with the naïve trait can be fearless in their activities. They are more willing to trust others and are easily influence by others, even when it comes to making important choices.

One negative thing about this trait is a naïve character can easily be taken advantage of. Villains especially can use a naïve character to gain control or access to someone or something that is connected to this character. This is especially true if the naïve character is connected to the main character.

Kind:

Kind means having concern for others. It means having an open and positive demeanor and having no ill will towards them. Kind is more of a characteristic of a hero or the “good guy” when it comes to stories. These characters are often looked up to by the community or people they are around. They are the peace restorers, taking down any opposition that seeks to destroy.

One negative thing about this trait is depending on the level of kindness the character possesses, they may have difficulty causing harm to the opposition. In their world, they would hope that things could be peacefully restored between villains and victims.

An Example:

When I think of characters with this trait combination, immediately animations come to mind. If you are familiar with the 90’s cartoons like Disney’s TaleSpin and Garfield, you may understand this example. In TaleSpin, the character Bobcat, who was a pilot engineer, had this trait combination. He was kind, even to the villains, and possibly a little too trusting of them. There was many times where he almost got the other main characters into major trouble because he was too honest and careless. He always wanted to tell the truth and wanted to be everyone’s friend. He often had to be coached by Baloo or Rebecca, the other characters, in how to interact with certain villains.

Odie is another character with this trait combination in the cartoon comic Garfield. Though Odie did not speak at all, only barked, he often found himself in sticky situations. He was easy to be lured into danger in many cases and trusted others too easily. Odie was not as naïve as Bobcat was, since it usually didn’t take him long to realize the trouble he was in, but still, by being too trusting in the first place, he often struggled to get out of such situations or needed help—usually Garfield’s help, to get out of them.

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