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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.

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character

Character

Characterization

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.
    • Indirect characterization is more subtle. The author gives certain information and lets the reader draw his/her own conclusions regarding the character.
slide3

Indirect characterization is achieved using the following methods:

  • The character’s name. (E.g. Old Man Warner in “The Lottery” warns people.)
  • The character’s appearance.
  • What the character says (or thinks).
  • What the character does.
  • What others say or think about the character, including other characters or the narrator.
slide4

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?

two kinds vocabulary
“Two Kinds” – Vocabulary

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?

two kinds

“Two Kinds”

Crossroads 10 pp. 198-209.

Complete “Responding to the Story” p. 210.

two kinds character development
“Two Kinds” – Character Development

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!

two kinds assignment thinking outside the text
“Two Kinds” Assignment-- Thinking Outside the Text
  • What pressures are there on people to be “successful”?
  • What is “success”?
  • What images does society use to stand for success?
  • Do you think that success is important? Why?
  • Should everyone want to be “successful”? Why or why not?
  • Can everyone be successful?
  • What is “character”? How does character relate to behaviour?
two kinds descriptive paragraph
“Two Kinds” – Descriptive Paragraph

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.

two kinds letter of apology
“Two Kinds” – Letter of Apology

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!

slide11

Dear Mr. Crowell,

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.

Sincerely,

Toby K. Smith

character12

Character

Character Sketch

what is a character sketch
What is a Character Sketch?

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:

  • Identifying the Character (1 paragraph)
  • Physical Description (1 paragraph)
  • Personality & Characteristics (1-2 paragraphs)
  • Importance of the Character to the Story (1 paragraph)
1 identify the character
1. Identify the Character

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.

2 physical description
2. Physical Description

Tell what the character looks like. Use evidence from the novel – be specific!

Look for the best quotes you can – note characterization methods!

3 personality and characteristics
3. Personality and Characteristics

Explain what the character “is like”.

This could include:

  • His/her likes and dislikes
  • His/her good and bad qualities
  • His/her strong and weak points
  • His/her attitude and opinions
  • Basically, any personality characteristic that is shown through characterization.
3 personality and characteristics cont
3. Personality and Characteristics cont.

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.

4 importance of the character to the story
4. Importance of the Character to the Story

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.

what is a character trait essay
What is a Character Trait Essay?

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.

personality words exercise
Personality Words Exercise

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.

personality words
Personality Words

Aggressive

Ambitious

Anxious

Bitter

Boastful

Cautious

Clumsy

Concerned

Confident

Considerate

Courageous

Courteous

Cowardly

Cruel

Curious

Dependable

Disorganized

Easy-going

Eccentric

Excitable

Faithful

Friendly

Generous

Gentle

Gloomy

Greedy

personality words22
Personality Words

Grouchy

Gullible

Helpful

Honest

Humble

Hypocritical

Ignorant

Ill-tempered

Imaginative

Impatient

Independent

Ingenious

Insecure

Insistent

Intelligent

Inventive

Irrepressible

Jealous

Lazy

Lonely

Loving

Loyal

Miserly

Moody

Nervous

Obnoxious

Optimistic

Outgoing

Outrageous

Pessimistic

Polite

Proud

personality words23
Personality Words

Relaxed

Reliable

Romantic

Rude

Sarcastic

Scatterbrained

Secretive

Sensitive

Shy

Sly

Sneaky

Sophisticated

Spontaneous

Stubborn

Superficial

Suspicious

Tactful

Timid

Tiresome

Treacherous

Uninhibited

Unintelligent

Unpredictable

Unreliable

Vague

Vain

Virtuous

Vital

Vulnerable

Witty

character24

Character

Types of Characters

types of characters
Types of Characters

Characters can be described in several ways. Two main ones are:

“Flat” v. “Round”

“Major” v. “Minor”

flat v round characters
Flat v. Round Characters

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 v minor characters
Major v. Minor Characters

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.

major v minor characters28
Major v. Minor Characters

Minor characters tend to be flat, but are also important to a story in that they serve particular purposes, which may include:

  • Giving the author a way to provide background information
  • Act as a foil (a contrast character) or alter ego (a comparison character) to a major character
  • Foreshadow events
  • Advance the plot
  • Illuminate theme
  • Enhance the setting
  • Establish mood
stereotypes
Stereotypes

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.

write a character sketch pre writing
Write a Character Sketch – Pre-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 drafting
Write a Character Sketch – Drafting

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!