Character Trait Analysis
The Boy Who Couldn't Die by William Sleator
Justin Messmer Green
The Main Character in The Boy Who Couldn't Die, Ken, is a very foolish person. His first foolish decision: having his soul removed from his body, so he can become immortal. He found an ad for a psychic who claimed to have special powers, and he made an appointment with her. When he was at the psychic's apartment, he should have easily realized that she was asking for too little money for her services, and that her process of removing his soul was not exactly safe. In order to have his soul removed, he had to experience death. After Ken foolishly went through with the ritual, he went home. After finding that the removing had worked (he touched a hot pan and wasn't burned), he should have realized that he felt different than before. Ken felt empty, no longer enjoyed things, and most of all, he was having dreams of stabbing strangers. After any of these things Ken should have seen something was wrong, but someone had to tell him before he woke up and saw the facts. Although Ken's stupidity is immense, I suppose there wouldn't have been a story if he had just walked out of the psychic's apartment as soon as he heard he had to die; he would have never become a zombie, meet his future girlfriend, and there would be absolutely no problem for him to solve.