Character Traits of Novel Protagonists

[By Kenton Rambsy]

A cursory look at the 100 novels in our study reveal that 55% of the protagonists are women; 45% of the novels are narrated from first person point of view, and 56% of the protagonists reside in northern cities. Large numbers of male protagonists make treks to northern cities such as characters in James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912), Langston Hughes Not Without Laughter (1930), Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (1952), and James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953). 
The majority of novels from our collection of 100 novels published over the last 20 years have female protagonists. Only 12% of the novels, that is 12, published since 1990 have male protagonists.