Short Story Centre

The Most Unforgettable Characters in Short Stories 


Some authors have such a way with words that they not only create meaningful stories but also memorable characters. 

These characters stay with us long after we’ve turned the final page. We find them sitting in the back of our minds and waving a hello every so often. 

They leave such an impression that we are left wistfully wondering about their lives even after the story has ended. 

We commonly find these characters in long-form books — the 400-page novels. And it’s obvious to think of such protagonist/antagonist because they become a part of our lives for a good long time (a month or so, at least).

But when you come across such characters in short stories, it’s a completely different experience. Having that connection with someone so quick is truly remarkable. 

And that’s why we should honour these great short story figures who have managed to make their way through the ages while remaining relevant:


Character: Katagiri 

  • Story: Super-Frog Saves Tokyo 
  • Author: Haruki Murakami 


Most people don’t find Katagiri interesting — not at least in the beginning of the story. He is forty and socially awkward with receding hairline and flat feet. But what makes him truly unforgettable is the patience with which he faces all the obstacles. Even after years in circulation, Katagiri still manages to confer a sense of elite satisfaction on readers young and old.


Character: Mrs Grimes

  • Story: A Death in the Woods 
  • Author: Sherwood Anderson 


Mrs Grimes, despite being a sickly, old woman is one of the most interesting characters of ‘A Death in the Woods.’ As the ultimate personification of persistence and perseverance, Mrs Grimes has a lot to offer our generation in terms of influence.

As a young orphan, she lived with a German couple who abused her, and as an adult, she spent most of her days in poverty but, Mrs Grimes, being strong-headed as always, bore all her trails with silent stoicism, faced all tribulations until she died in the company of a pack of dogs.  

Character: Emily Grierson 

  • Story: A Rose for Emily 
  • Author: William Faulker 


In the short story, A Rose for Emily, Emily Grierson is a classic outsider who controls and limits the town’s access to her true identity by staying hidden. The narrator portrays her as a monument who could be irritating at times but demands to live life on her own terms. 

Emily is one of those people who know all ‘rules’ and take it on them to decide which one to break. She’s also an absolute embodiment of self-love and a testament to the power of passion.

Character: Jane

  • Story: The Yellow Wallpaper
  • Author: Perkins Gilman 


Through ‘The Yellow Wallpaper,’ Perkins Gilman introduces a young, newly married, middle-class mother who is in depression. Jane’s doctor believes she has hysterical tendencies but Jane leaves an impression on all the readers through her unsettling thoughts that she records in a secret diary. 

We remember Jane not for her hysterical tendencies but for the highly imaginative mind of hers that retains its hold over the reader’s psyche as well (with no hint of a slackening of the grip).

Character: Mr Kapasi 

  • Story: Interpreter of Maladies 
  • Author: Jhumpa Lahiri 


Mr Kapasi is one of the most unforgettable short-story characters I’ve come across. Not because of the way he uses his English speaking skills in a dramatically peripheral way, but for keeping alive a kindred spirit and his far-fetched fantasies. He hopes against hope and finds no shame in being vulnerable around Mrs Das, and that’s what makes him a true gentleman. 


That’s all folks 


Well, this list had characters from short stories that have proven themselves timeless over time. 

Did your favourite make it? If they didn’t, you can always use the comment box below and tell us about the characters you love and what makes them great. We’re always eager to have a bookish discussion 😉


(2) Comments

  1. hi, your post is amazing.Following your articles.

    1. Hey thanks. Glad you liked it.

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