Methods of Characterization

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Techniques writers use to reveal characters.

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Methods of Characterization

  1. 1. Methods of Characterization
  2. 2. Character Traits <ul><li>When you first meet a real person or a character in a book, you form judgments about that person. </li></ul><ul><li>You might say something about the person such as “He’s nice,” or “She’s friendly.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Nice” and “friendly” are examples of character traits . They are words that we use to describe a person’s “character” or personality. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Analyzing Character Traits <ul><li>We try to figure out what a character in a book is like by paying attention to the clues the author gives us. </li></ul><ul><li>This is called “ making inferences .” </li></ul><ul><li>The writer can let us know what a character is like through direct and indirect characterization. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Indirect Characterization <ul><li>In indirect characterization the writer shows you what the character is like by revealing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>appearance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>thoughts & feelings and the </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>reactions of other characters . </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Appearance <ul><li>We often infer a lot about characters from the clothes they wear, their facial features, their body language, and their mannerisms. </li></ul>Erasto was the priest of his village. When he appeared before the commission, he towered above them, wearing his finest yellow hat and scarf, and his royal blue robes. -respected -proud -dignified
  6. 6. Action <ul><li>You know the expression, “Actions speak louder than words”? Much of what we learn about characters is revealed to us through what they do. </li></ul>Denise picked up the slimy bull frog. She could hardly stand to hold it even for a moment. She held it out at arm’s length from her body and quickly carried it to her brother. -squeamish -sensitive -nervous
  7. 7. Words <ul><li>We often get to know characters because of what they say to each other. </li></ul>Anita threw her arms around Tony and gave him a big hug. “Thank you so much for being there for me,” she said. “I don’t think I could have faced my parents without you.” -thoughtful -compassionate -appreciative
  8. 8. Thoughts and Feelings <ul><li>When an author lets us get inside the mind of a character, we can often learn a great deal about him or her. </li></ul>Butch looked around the neighborhood. “This would be a safe place to play catch with Bobby,” he thought. “Why doesn’t Bobby throw the ball? He must be in a bad mood or something.” -loyal -concerned -playful
  9. 9. Other Character’s Comments or Reactions <ul><li>Sometimes other characters will tell us something useful about the character we’re reading about. </li></ul>“ You wouldn’t believe what Lisa did yesterday,” Sara said to her sister. “When we went into the bridal shop, she pushed all the women aside and demanded that the sales lady help us immediately. It was really something!” -demanding -pushy -assertive
  10. 10. Direct Characterization <ul><li>In direct characterization the writer tells you directly what the character is like. </li></ul>Betsy was a determined three year old, who knew what she wanted and often got her way, if she cried loudly enough.
  11. 11. Comments by the Narrator Jimmy was a mischievous boy and creative too. He could take a discarded box or old blanket and turn it into something adventurous. But sometimes his imagination got the better of him, and he’d find himself in big trouble. -mischievous -creative -imaginative
  12. 12. Which method of characterization is being used? <ul><li>Org the ugly was usually angry. </li></ul><ul><li>Words </li></ul><ul><li>Actions </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Thoughts and feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Other characters’ comments or reactions </li></ul><ul><li>Direct comments by narrator </li></ul>
  13. 13. Which method of characterization is being used? <ul><li>He stood up stiffly and glared at the sky. </li></ul><ul><li>Words </li></ul><ul><li>Actions </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Thoughts and feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Other characters’ comments or reactions </li></ul><ul><li>Direct comments by narrator </li></ul>
  14. 14. Which method of characterization is being used? <ul><li>He raised his slimy fists and beat them against his huge, hairy chest. </li></ul><ul><li>Words </li></ul><ul><li>Actions </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Thoughts and feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Other characters’ comments or reactions </li></ul><ul><li>Direct comments by narrator </li></ul>
  15. 15. Which method of characterization is being used? <ul><li>“ I feel just like a dark sky!” Org shouted. </li></ul><ul><li>Words </li></ul><ul><li>Actions </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Thoughts and feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Other characters’ comments or reactions </li></ul><ul><li>Direct comments by narrator </li></ul>
  16. 16. Which method of characterization is being used? <ul><li>“ I haven’t seen him this angry in a long time,” said Org’s wife to the cook. </li></ul><ul><li>Words </li></ul><ul><li>Actions </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Thoughts and feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Other characters’ comments or reactions </li></ul><ul><li>Direct comments by narrator </li></ul>
  17. 17. Which method of characterization is being used? <ul><li>Org leaned against a tree trunk and thought about how mean and ugly and mad he felt. </li></ul><ul><li>Words </li></ul><ul><li>Actions </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Thoughts and feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Other characters’ comments or reactions </li></ul><ul><li>Direct comments by narrator </li></ul>
  18. 18. Which method of characterization is being used? <ul><li>Suddenly, he wrapped his arms around the tree. He pulled and tore at it until it ripped out of the earth, roots and all. </li></ul><ul><li>Words </li></ul><ul><li>Actions </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Thoughts and feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Other characters’ comments or reactions </li></ul><ul><li>Direct comments by narrator </li></ul>
  19. 19. Which method of characterization is being used? <ul><li>All the gentle woodland creatures in the forest shook their heads sadly at Org and his hateful ways. </li></ul><ul><li>Words </li></ul><ul><li>Actions </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Thoughts and feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Other characters’ comments or reactions </li></ul><ul><li>Direct comments by narrator </li></ul>

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