This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)
Once facing an extraordinary challenge, an everyman may mount an exceptional response, perhaps even fulfilling a hero's journey, acquiring exceptional abilities that complement his commonplace, humble core.
While the term everywoman dates to the very early 20th century, the term everyman traces to an English morality play, thus an allegorical play, from the early 1500s: The Summoning of Everyman. Rather unlike a modern everyman, he is not only a "representative human" and "gregarious", but is "prosperous" and "attractive" as well, explains literature scholar Harry Keyishian. But he, Everyman, living his last days, is the only character fully human. The others are embodied ideas, like Fellowship who, explains Keyishian, "symbolizes the transience and limitations of human friendship." On the other hand, a modern everyman, not confined to allegories, is set in a familiar social context.
Generally, a modern everyman, although perhaps adolescent, is neither a child nor elderly, and is physically unremarkable. Although his intellect and integrity may be appreciable, he typically lacks the privilege of authority or prosperity, and occupies the middle class or lower class with the bulk of society. He typically shows some moral idealism, yearning for greater success, and foresight in career or family life. Yet his modest means may compound life's vicissitudes while his own virtues, casting him in roles valuable to others, may escalate his own troubles. Still, by his resourcefulness and fortitude, he may fulfill his modest ambitions, often furthering the greater good as well.
An everyman is crafted so that most audience members can readily situate themselves in his shoes. Although the everyman may face obstacles and adversities that a hero might, archetypal heroes react rapidly and vigorously by manifest traits, whereas an everyman typically avoids engagement or reacts ambivalently, until the situation, growing dire, demands effective reaction to avert disaster. Such a round, dynamic character—that is, a character showing depth and development—is then generally a protagonist.
Or if lacking depth and development—thus a flat, static character—the everyman is a secondary character. Especially in literature, there is often a narrator, as the written medium enables extensive explication of, for example, backstory, tangents, physical details, and mental content. An everyman narrator may draw little notice, whether by other characters or sometimes even by the reader, since the narration emerges, then, from the story world. And if neutral or relatable enough, the narrating everyman, like Ché in the musical Evita, may even, breaking the fourth wall directly address the audience.
- The anonymous narrator in Chuck Palahniuk's novel Fight Club (1996) and its film adaptation (1999)
- The anonymous "Common Man" in Robert Bolt's play A Man for All Seasons (1960)
- C.C. "Bud" Baxter in Billy Wilder's film The Apartment (1960)
- Leopold Bloom in James Joyce's book Ulysses (serialized 1918–1920, published in its entirety in 1922)
- Emmet Brickowski in the The Lego Movie
- Charlie Brown in Charles Schulz's Peanuts comic strip
- Jackie Chan in Hong Kong action movies
- Ché in Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Evita
- Rhett Butler in Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone With the Wind (1936) and its film adaptation (1939)
- Christian in John Bunyan's book The Pilgrim's Progress (1678)
- Edmond Dantès in Alexandre Dumas' novel The Count of Monte Cristo (1844)
- Arthur Dent in Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novels
- Jack Driscoll in Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack's film King Kong (1933)
- Doug Funnie in Jim Jinkins' animated series Doug
- Gerald Ford - 38th President of the United States
- James Gordon in DC Comics
- Pierre Gringore in Victor Hugo's book The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831)
- Jim Halpert in the television series The Office
- Jonathan Harker in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula (1897)
- Arthur Hastings in Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot stories
- George Jetson in the television series The Jetsons
- Will Kane in Fred Zinnemann's movie High Noon (1952)
- Jacob Kowalski in J. K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them books and films
- Stan Marsh in the animated series South Park
- Joe Martin in the television series All My Children
- Marty McFly in the Back to the Future films
- Walter Mitty in James Thurber's story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (1939)
- Ted Mosby in the television series How I Met Your Mother
- Charlie Nancy in Neil Gaiman's book Anansi Boys (2005)
- William Priest in John Ford's film Judge Priest (1934)
- Rocko in the animated series Rocko's Modern Life
- Jack Ryan in Tom Clancy's book and film series known as the Ryanverse
- Winston Smith in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
- Egbert Souse in Edward F. Cline's film The Bank Dick (1940)
- Larry Talbot in the movie The Wolf Man (1941)
- Dr. Watson in Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories
- Philip J. Fry in the animated series Futurama
- Ethan Winters in the video games Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Resident Evil Village
|Look up everyman in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Average Joe – wholly average person
- Commoner – person neither nobility, royalty, nor priesthood
- Elckerlijc - Dutch medieval morality play
- Everyman's right – freedom to roam
- Kafkaesque – everyman being overwhelmed by vast, dehumanizing social labyrinth
- Man on the Bondi tram – hypothetical reasonable Australian
- Person having ordinary skill in the art
- John Q. Public – generic, hypothetical "common man"
- Reasonable person – term helping a jury interpret a law's wording
- Straight man
- T.C. Mits – acronym for "the celebrated man in the street"
- The man on the Clapham omnibus – hypothetical reasonable person
- Zé Povinho – Portuguese everyman
- King, Susan (April 29, 2001). "Back When Decency Was Glamorous". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
- Murrin, John M.; Johnson, Paul E.; McPherson, James M.; Fahs, Alice; Gerstle, Gary (2011). Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People, Volume 2: Since 1863. Cengage Learning. p. 764. ISBN 9781133171867.
- "WordNet Search - 3.0". Princeton University. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
- "Everyman - Definition". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
- Pickett, Howard (August 2012). "Theatrical Samaritans: Performing Others in Luke 10:25-37". The Journal of Scriptural Reasoning. 11 (1). Retrieved April 14, 2020.
- "Everywoman - Definition". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
- Harry Keyishian, "Review of Douglas Morse, dir.,The Summoning of Everyman (Grandfather Films, 2007)", Shakespeare Bulletin (Johns Hopkins U P), 2008 Fall;26(3):45–48.
- Miller, Scott. "Inside Evita by Scott Miller". NewLineTheatre.com. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- Gans, Andrew (February 10, 2012). "In upcoming revival of Evita, Che will be the "everyman", not Che Guevara". Playbill. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- Smith, Gavin (September–October 1999). "Inside Out: Gavin Smith Goes One-on-One with David Fincher". Film Comment. 35 (5): 64.
- Bowman, James. "The Apartment". Ethics & Public Policy Center. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- Gharraie, Jonathan (June 27, 2011). "Around Bloom in a Day". Paris Review. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- Crawford, Julie (February 8, 2019). "The Lego Movie 2 returns with a purpose". North Shore News. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- Beach, Lisa A. (October 2016). "Good Grief! Lessons From Charlie Brown". Washington Parent. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- "What Makes Jackie Chan One of a Kind". The Criterion Collection. May 6, 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
- Johnson, Barbara A. (1992). Reading Piers Plowman and The Pilgrim's Progress: Reception and the Protestant Reader. SIU Press. pp. 20. ISBN 9780809316533.
- Jones, Brian; Hamilton, Geoff (2010). Encyclopedia of American Popular Fiction. Infobase Publishing. pp. 62–63, 153. ISBN 9781438116945.
- DiBello, John (October 24, 2011). "Bizarro Back Issues: Commissor Gordon vs. the Space Alien (1978)". ComicsAlliance.com. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- "The Office: Co-Workers You'd Love to Have - Jim Halpert (John Krasinski)". MSN.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- Rickels, Laurence A. The Vampire Lectures. University of Minnesota Press. p. 28. ISBN 9781452903934.
- Alfar, Paolo (January 24, 2020). "10 Most Memorable Hanna-Barbera Characters". ScreenRant.com. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- Byrnes, Paul (November 16, 2016). "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them review: Fun but long-winded". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- Scott, Hugh (June 7, 2019). "The 25 Best South Park Characters Ever, Ranked". CinemaBlend.com. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
- "Back to the Future Day: Where Were They Now (The Cast Then and Today)". Glide. October 21, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- Chris, Ball (September 26, 2009). "New on DVD: 'Shrink,' 'Management,' 'The Patty Duke Show' and more". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- Adkins, Leslie (May 13, 2009). "AS SEEN ON: My new addiction: 'How I Met Your Mother'". The Dartmouth. Archived from the original on September 17, 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- Rodden, John (2007). The Cambridge Companion to George Orwell. Cambridge University Press. p. 9. ISBN 9780521675079.
- "W.C. Fields Biography". TheBiographyChannel.com. Archived from the original on April 6, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- Neibaur, James L. (February 28, 2007). "Film Reviews: The W.C. Fields Comedy Collection Vol. 2 (2007)". Rogue Cinema. Archived from the original on November 19, 2008. Retrieved April 15, 2020.