Consider this scenario: A new student has moved to town and is attending your school. Your friend thinks he/she is cute and wants you to find out more about him/her. How would you go about achieving your goal?
Characterization The way an author brings a character to life for the reader. Direct Characterization Indirect Characterization The narrator tells you about the character both physically and mentally Revealing personality characteristics without explicitly stating it. He was tall with brown hair. When the shy girl dropped her books in the middle of the hall, he picked them up with a smile.
Types of Indirect Characterization • What the character thinks • What the character says • What the character does • What other characters say or think about the character.
Direct or Indirect? • “That new kid is nothing but a dumb jock,” said Leslie. • He was the kind of person who wouldn’t hurt a fly. • After the two cars wrecked, he stepped out and unleashed a string of curses a mile long. • When the teacher asked for volunteers, he tried to make himself as small as possible.
“My aunt will be down presently, Mr. Nuttel,” said a very self-possessed young lady of fifteen. The child was staring out through the open window with a dazed horror in her eyes. Romance at short notice was her specialty. “The doctors agree in ordering me complete rest, an absence of mental excitement, and avoidance of anything in the nature of violent physical exercise,” announced Framton. “I know how it will be,” his sister had said. “You will bury yourself down there and not speak to a living soul, and your nerves will be worse than ever from moping.” Framton grabbed wildly at his stick and hat; the hall door, the gravel drive, and the front gate were dimly noted stages in his headlong retreat.
DIALECT • A way of speaking specific to a certain area or group of people • The dialect a character uses can reveal much about his/her personality
Static vs. Dynamic A STATIC CHARACTER is one who stays basically the same from beginning to end. A DYNAMIC CHARACTER is one who undergoes an internalchange/growth by the end of the story. Flat vs. Round The reader would know only a few minor details about a FLAT CHARACTER. The reader would know a great deal about the background, motivations, and desires of a ROUND CHARACTER.
Practice! Ponyboy in The Outsiders static dynamic flat round Curley in Of Mice and Men static dynamic flat round Lennie in Of Mice and Men static dynamic flat round Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol static dynamic flat round Lord Capulet and Lord Montague in Romeo and Juliet static dynamic flat round
A Visit to Grandmother Can you think of some movies or TV shows that deal with problems between parents and teenagers? Have you ever known a family grudge to carry over from childhood into adulthood?
“A Visit to Grandmother” • Emotional Response • What do you learn about Charles and GL and their personalities? Which method of characterization does the author use for your examples? • With which character do you sympathize? • Do you agree with the way Mama raised her children?