My character has two contradictory personality traits, a sense of duty and a sense of love, that clash together a to provoke an inner dilemma in him. How do I put this "complex nature" of his into a sentence?

Here is a start, but I really don't want to use the phrase "complex nature" in the sentence.

"Author examines protagonist's complex nature,...(description of the two traits)"

  • "Author examines protagonist's complex nature," is not grammatical. Also, questions need to have a chance of homing in on just the right solution. What criteria will you use to choose the right phrase? Please see our detailed help.
    – Andrew Leach
    Sep 7, 2019 at 16:26
  • Essentially you're asking for help on how to write a sentence to describe a character. I would have thought that question is better suited at Writing Stack Exchange.
    – Zebrafish
    Sep 7, 2019 at 16:33
  • Use "the" before "author" and "protagonist's." Don't say "an inner dilemma in him." It's redundant. Either say "an inner dilemma" or "a dilemma in him." Don't say "clash together." Just say "clash." "Together" is deadwood. As for your question, it's not clear what you're asking. Are you looking for an adjective to replace "complex" before "nature," a noun to replace "complex nature," or one sentence that describes "complex nature"? Sep 7, 2019 at 18:36
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on writing.se
    – Xanne
    Sep 7, 2019 at 19:50
  • Anyway a sense of duty and a sense of love (a sense of love? really?) do not seem very unusual.
    – Xanne
    Sep 7, 2019 at 19:53

1 Answer 1


You could use "paradoxical personality" -




: seemingly absurd or self-contradictory.

Therefore -

"[Author] examines the protagonist's paradoxical personality, ... (description of the two traits)"

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