Character 1
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literary characterization

literary characterization

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Character 1 Character 1 Presentation Transcript

  • Characterization
    Karen S Wright
  • Different Characters
    People and animals can be….
    • Major characters
    • Minor characters
    • Flat characters
    • Round characters
    Many different characters can make up a story, play, or piece of poetry.
  • How Character is Developed
    Authors use direct and indirect characterization to develop characters.
  • Direct Characterization
    With Direct characterization, the writer tells the reader what the character is like.
    “And I don’t play the dozens or believe in standing around with somebody in my face doing a lot of talking. I much rather just knock you down and take my chances even if I’m a little girl with skinny arms and a squeaky voice, which is how I got the name Squeaky (“Raymond’s Run” Bambara).
  • Indirect Characterization
    The old man bowed to all of us in the room. Then he removed his hat and gloves, slowly and carefully. Chaplin once did that in a picture, in a bank--he was the janitor (“Gentleman of Rio en Medio” Sedillo).
    With indirect characterization, the writer shows what a character is like by describing what the character looks like, by telling what the character says and does, and by what other characters say about and do in response to the character.
  • Character Development
    Direct and indirect characterization can be broken down into four distinct ways to present depth and information about characters.
  • What the Character Says or Thinks
    • What the speaker says may indicate the character of the speaker.
    • It also may indicate a momentary emotional or intellectual state.
  • What the Character Does
    • Actions speak louder than words.
    • Sometimes actions differ greatly from what the character says.
    • Actions are the most important sign of the speaker’s character.
  • What Others Say About the Character
    • As in real life, people in stories and plays talk about each other.
    • Emotion may color what we “see”.
    • An enemy may have prejudicial views that make situations worse.
    • A close friend of the character may be biased, thus less truthful.
  • What the Author Tells Us About the Character is Reliable
    To Build a Fire by Jack London
    “He was a newcomer in the land, a chechaquo, and this was his first winter. The trouble with him was that he was without imagination. He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances” (London 3)
  • Author as Storyteller
    What the author tells the reader about a character is to be accepted as insight into the character.
  • Many Characters
    When we discuss literature, we refer to characters as…
    • Round characters
    • Flat characters
    • Dynamic characters
    • Static characters
    • Characters of stereotype
  • Round Characters
    • Round characters have various characteristics or traits.
    • A round character can change or grow.
    • Readers see more than one side of a round character.
  • Flat Character
    • Readers see one side of a flat character.
    • Flat characters are usually minor characters and reveal one or two traits.
    • Flat characters may be used as a contrast to a major character.
  • Dynamic Character
    Characters who develop and change are not only round characters, but often dynamic.
    Scrooge changes from a tight-fisted, greedy unhappy man to one who was happily benevolent.
  • Static Character
    • Static characters are one dimensional—readers see only one side.
    • Static characters stay the same and do not develop.
    • Readers learn little about this character.
    • Static characters are flat characters.
  • Stereotypes and Stock Characters
    • Sometimes characters with common traits are repeatedly found in unrelated stories.
    • These characters are known by what they do and how they act.
    Politician
    Cowboy
    Lawyer
    Detective
    Dentist
    Drunk
    Doctor
    miser
    Teacher
    Pirate
  • Protagonist
    The Protagonist is central to the action of a story and moves against the antagonist.
  • Antagonist
    The antagonist is the villain or a force which opposes the the protagonist.
  • Factors to Consider in Analyzing and Writing
    About Character
    • Physical appearance of character.
    • Personality
    • Background
    • Motivation
    • Relationships with other characters.
    • Conflict
    • How the character changes