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Characterization, Setting and POV. Using text and inference to establish place and time and increase understanding. Character vs. Characterization. Character is someone or something involved in the main elements of the story and can offer action or insight into the events of the story

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characterization setting and pov

Characterization, Setting and POV

Using text and inference to establish place and time and increase understanding

character vs characterization
Character vs. Characterization
  • Character is someone or something involved in the main elements of the story and can offer action or insight into the events of the story
  • Characterization is how the character is portrayed.
    • Thoughts, actions, how other characters think of or respond
types of characterization
Types of Characterization



Author allows the reader to experience the events of the story and draw their own conclusions of a Character’s character

Example: No explanation is offered except for dialogue between two characters; a character is portrayed as pushing another down in the hallway

  • Author uses cues to supply the reader with a specific picture of the character (moral representation) of a character (Character’s character)
  • Example: Some versions of Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death he specifically states Prince Prospero is a devil or Satan worshipper; Maupassant specifically said Mme. Loisel was selfish and self-centered.
flat vs round
Flat vs. Round



Three dimensional

Character is a complete pictured and as complicated as you and me

Identify with the character

Enough information to determine flaws or virtues

  • One dimensional
  • Character is limited
  • See one side or characteristic of the character
  • Probably will not change over the course of the story/novel

static vs dynamic
Static vs. Dynamic



Changes as a result of the events in the story

Portrayed early in one way and develops over the time the story covers and as a result of events in the plot

Typically the main character(s) and changes are clearly explained

  • Stays the same
  • Limited portrayal in story and does not allow for change or growth
  • Uninteresting and serve a specific purpose related to the plot and main character(s)

effects of characterization
Effects of Characterization



Reader can draw their own conclusions

Reader uses own moral compass to determine the character of a character

Characterization is arguable with supporting evidence

  • Reader is told how to think or feel
  • No need for interpretation
  • May allow for character change; may be a steadfast character
  • Few differences in how the character is interpreted
why does it matter
Why does it matter?
  • Knowing the characters:
    • Draws the reader in deeper
    • Generates emotional connections and invests the reader
    • Builds understanding and can be an author’s bread and butter
    • Deepens the effects of POV
    • Can push the reader to examine or redefine their own beliefs or values
  • More than place and time
    • Location and date can be important, but it needs to go beyond
    • Many effective stories are not set on a specific date in one singular location (A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away; Harry Potter has no specific dates and jumps locations several times per book)
beyond place and time
Beyond Place and Time
  • Authors create more rich settings by:
    • Using sensory details (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell)
    • Make allusions and ties to familiar while also creating rich and vivid details
    • Draw on realistic or common locations, but offer details from the perspective of the character(s)
    • Focus as much development on the setting as the characters
setting as character
Setting As Character

Can setting be a character?

What value does setting offer that can give it a life of its own and be considered a character?

How can setting evolve throughout a storyline in similar patterns as characters?

effect of setting
Effect of Setting

Gives the reader a fully developed image of the characters’ environment

DIRECTLY influences the characters’ actions and can play a role in the development of plot points

Without setting there is little frame of reference for the reader and leaves the story feeling incomplete (reader’s mind wonders)

point of view
Point of View
  • Four types:
    • 1st person
    • 2nd person
    • 3rd person limited
    • 3rd person omniscient
1 st person
1st Person

I, me, my statements

Only get the opinion of the character or those trusted by the character

Narrator is typically the round, dynamic character


Limits feelings about other characters and forces many of them into flat, static territory

2 nd person
2nd Person

You, your statements

Forces the reader to actively participate in the story/novel and relies on the readers instincts or thoughts

Events presented that readers are unfamiliar with will leave them confused or disinterested

Difficult perspective to write from

Most popular/common occurrence is in Choose Your Own Adventure stories

3 rd person limited
3rd Person Limited

He, She, him, her, his, they, them statements

Narrator is NOT involved in the events of the story

Can be told from another place and time

Does not offer insight into ALL characters thoughts or feelings

May follow one character intensively while mentioning others at times to further the plot (Harry Potter)

3 rd person omniscient
3rd Person Omniscient

He, she, him, her, his, they, them statements

Narrator is NOT involved in the story

No sense of time and place beyond the character’s

Offers information into the thoughts, feelings and experiences of ALL main characters, but frequently focuses on a singular character the other’s orbit OR jumps between characters through organized chapters or textual cues

effects of pov
Effects of POV
  • POV can leave the reader predisposed to the author’s opinion
  • Allows the author to participate in direct or indirect characterization to advance the plot
    • Consider Twilight, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games
elements together
Elements Together

Characters are affected by the setting

Reader’s interpretations are affected by the type characterizations provided

Setting details can be determined by the POV of the work (1st person will set a limited setting, 3rd person will create a rich and full picture)

Setting can be a factor in the characterization (Harry Potter)

where we will begin
Where we will begin
  • Characterization
  • Assignment:
    • Watch or refer to one television show or movie and determine the type of character the main characters are. Provide evidence to support your assertion. Use the graph provided.