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It is the tritest sort of a truism to say that the characters in a story are important, for stories are stories only in so far as they reflect life, and life is impossible without human actors. It is the hopes and fears, the joys and sorrows, the sins and moral victories of men that interest us. We men are a conceited lot, and find nothing of interest except as it relates to us. Thus in the most ingenious stories, where some marvelous invention or discovery is introduced, the interest centers, not in the wondrous things themselves, but in their influence on the people of the story; and in the few stories where a beast or a thing plays the hero, it is always given human attributes.

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