When someone asks me to describe a character from a story or explain the story briefly, should I use "past tense" or "present tense"
Below is the story about the character of the novel "Devi Chaudhurani" (written by Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay) from which I was asked a question in the exam: Here is the link that expalins the novel and the character briefly here
Prafulla is married but is shunned by her wealthy father-in-law, Haraballabh, because of a spat between him and her father on the day of her wedding. By custom prevalent at that time, a girl, once married, could not be divorced or remarried. Heartbroken at the fate of his only child, her father died after a few years, leaving the family in penury.
Prafulla takes the drastic step to flee in the middle of the night to find the house of her in-laws whom she has never known, without any money, with knowledge of only the name of the village and name of her father-in-law.
Here is the question that was asked in the exam "Who is Prafulla? Describe her character briefly." Should I answer in past tense or present tense in the answer?
- Prafulla is the main character of the novel Devi Chaudhurani. She lives/lived in a small village of Bengal. She is idolized in the novel as an Inspiration to women in Bengal that time. Prafulla is/was shunned by Haraballabh, Her father-in-law. This made/makes her father feel heart broken and depressed which leads/led him to death. This made/makes Prafulla more stronger than ever. By the character of Prafulla the author described/describes a hard and successful life of a woman.
I think both tenses are correct but not sure. Could you please explain? Can I use both tenses?