Lurch – a character study…


Lurch – definition: a sudden swaying or tipping movement, a staggering gait.

I don’t know about you but my immediate thought is of Lurch from the Addams Family. Although he is not a main character he is well known and takes an integral part in the show/movie. I will use him as a character study.

Fester_lurch_1966Lurch is an imposing figure at 6 ft 9 in tall with a deep, resonating voice that seems to come up from his boots. As the family‘s butler his shambling, gloomy persona also gives the audience a sense of strict formality. His stumbling, slow gait gives us the impression that he is still coming to grips with walking. He does resemble Frankenstein’s monster in some ways, with a flat head topped with scant hair and one opaque eye but does not have the neck bolts. He is much more pleasing to the eye in his suit and bow tie.  Lurch can speak normally, however tends to use inarticulate moans instead, which are fully understood by the family members. We can only take the word of said family that Lurch can indeed be eloquent and vivacious. Although Lurch does not excel in his role as butler he is without doubt faithful to the Addams but is often the object of their jokes.

Although his size and strength can be a hindrance at times, Lurch goes about his duties as best he can and seems to take pride in even the most arduous of tasks. There is no question that he is loyal to the Addams family although he can be clearly exasperated by them on occasion. This is shown by the occasional dubious looks he gives some of their stranger activities, although he does share some of the family’s macabre standards.  However, his loyalty is rewarded by the family treating him as one of their own.

When Lurch is summoned by way of the hangman’s noose bell pull, we hear a loud gong-like sound and Lurch appears instantly with the immortal words “You rang?”  It seems that no matter where he happens to be in the house he can transport himself instantaneously to whomever called him.

This strange character does seem to have quite a strong paternal affection for both Wednesday and Pugsley, and looks after their needs from making their lunch to driving them to school to generally keeping an eye on them. Next to her headless Marie Antoinette doll, Lurch is Wednesday’s best friend. Lurch in turn is close friends with Thing, the disembodied hand. Surprisingly Lurch’s talent is in playing the harpsichord at a virtuoso level.

Have you got a secondary character you would like to share as a study?

3 thoughts on “Lurch – a character study…

  1. I agree, Mandy – our secondary characters shape and influence our main characters. We don’t operate in solitary fashion so too with our main characters. Makes our story more real and interesting.

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  2. I recently read a blog post that was an interview with Joss Whedon where he discusses the importance of knowing your secondary characters and their motivations. He states that they must all have their own purpose rather than being there to progress a storyline. I have a team of secondary characters as its a police investigation team and I do love each of them for different reasons.

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