Character. Characterization. Characterization. Characters are the “people” of the story. Characterization is of two main types: Direct characterization occurs when the author (through narration) explicitly tells the reader what a particular character is like.
To analyze a character, look at the character’s dialogue, appearance, actions, environment, character type, and motivation.
Also note if there are ironies or discrepancies, i.e. does the character say he believes one thing, but act the opposite way? Do other characters say things about him that you do not see as true?
conjunction – a part of speech used to connect and relate words or sentences. Common conjunctions are and, but, for, or, so, and yet.
Normally, conjunctions should NOT be used to start sentences. In “Two Kinds,” Amy Tan uses conjunctions to begin many sentences. What is the effect of this?
Crossroads 10 pp. 198-209.
Complete “Responding to the Story” p. 210.
Character development occurs when a character changes throughout the course of a story.
1. What was your initial reaction to the mother? How did you feel about her by the end of the story?
2. What was your initial reaction to the daughter? How did you feel about her by the end of the story?
When you write your own stories, keep this in mind!
Everyone wants to be “successful”, but people have different ideas about what success is.
How will you know when you have achieved “success”? What would success look like in your own life?
Write a descriptive paragraph in which you describe yourself in 10, 15, 20, or 25 years – when you are successful, according to your own definition of success.
Have you ever felt badly about something you once did, but you never apologized for doing it? Well, here’s your chance!
Write a letter to that person explaining what you did and why you have to apologize.
Will you send your letter? You decide!
I hope everything is well with you. It has been a long time since we last spoke, so you’re probably wondering why I am writing now. I feel a need to apologize for something I did when I was in your grade 7 science class.
In the spring of that year, we had to do a big poster project about something scientific that we researched ourselves. When the time came to hand them in, I had not finished the assignment. I then promptly forgot all about it.
A few weeks later, you returned the projects to the class. Knowing that my mark would suffer because I did not hand it in, I asked you where my project was, and pretended that I was angry because I had handed it in and you lost it. I was not a good liar, so I did not keep up the charade for long, and you were well-organized and knew the truth.
I want to apologize for that lie now. I know that my accusation made you look like either an incompetent teacher or a liar in front of our class. It was unfair of me to basically accuse you of failing to do your job. For the lie, I truly apologize.
Toby K. Smith
A character sketch is a write-up about a specific character, giving the character’s main personality traits and physical attributes. It should include the following:
This paragraph could be the introduction.
Tell who the character is by naming the character and what role he/she plays in the story.
Give the title of the novel/story/play.
Tell whether he/she is a major, secondary, or minor character.
Tell what the character looks like. Use evidence from the novel – be specific!
Look for the best quotes you can – note characterization methods!
Explain what the character “is like”.
This could include:
IMPORTANT: Whatever statements you make about a character, they MUST be backed up (proven) by evidence from the story!
Give examples, quotations, and references from the story to prove what you say.
Explain the importance of this character and his/her role in the story.
Consider how he/she added to the story and speculate on how the story might have been different had he/she acted differently.
Character sketches can take many forms. The most common is the Character Trait Essay.
Character Trait Essays can be longer than 5 paragraphs, but are structured the same way: Introduction, main body, and conclusion.
Each class member will be assigned a letter.
Working with a partner, take a few moments and brainstorm words that describe peoples’ personalities that begin with your letters.
You should have at least 5 words for each letter. You will share them with the class.
Types of Characters
Characters can be described in several ways. Two main ones are:
“Flat” v. “Round”
“Major” v. “Minor”
Round (or dynamic) characters change and grow throughout the course of a story. The change might be emotional, spiritual, or intellectual. Through encountering the conflicts and crises in the story, they illuminate the message(s) the author is sending.
Flat (or static) characters do not change and grow throughout the story.
Major characters are important to the story. They tend also to be round.
Protagonist – The central character of a literary work.
Antagonist – The rival or opponent against whom the main character (protagonist) is contending.
Minor characters tend to be flat, but are also important to a story in that they serve particular purposes, which may include:
Sometimes, characters are stereotypes – characters that reflect expectations of behaviour from particular groups, rather than a fleshed-out personality.
Stereotypes can serve a purpose in a story as a minor character, but as major characters they are usually simply a sign of weak writing.
Choose a character from a story you know well or a television show that you know very well.
Brainstorm everything you know about that character (appearance, personality, and events/etc. that demonstrate their personality).
Take a few minutes to do this.
Write a character sketch of the character you chose.
Note: If you chose a television or film character, you must know the show or film well enough to be able to provide concrete examples that prove what you say!
Your character sketch is due Tuesday, Oct. 18th!