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CHARACTER NOTES

Based on “Character: Revealing Human Nature” and “Give-and-Take”

by John Leggett

CHARACTER

character:

 

definition: a person in a story, poem, or play definition: a set of qualities that make someone special purpose:

characters tell us what human beings are like

examples:
__________________  __________________  __________________

We’ll learn to describe a character’s character.

http://www.safenetwork.org/meanTeacher.jpg

HOW DO WE LEARN ABOUT CHARACTERS?

OAATS

O

THERS’ THOUGHTS

& WORDS REVEAL CHARACTER

others’ thoughts and words

What do the other characters think about the character? What do they say about the character?

http://blissfullydomestic.com/wp-content/gallery/inspired-bliss/women-gossiping.

A

PPEARANCE

REVEALS CHARACTER

appearance

What does the character look like? How does the character dress?

http://www.ocean.edu/images/man_business_attire.jpg

A

CTIONS

REVEAL CHARACTER

actions

What does the character do? How does the character act?

http://www.cis.edu.sg/pyp/images/Caring%20(Small).jpg

T

HOUGHTS AND FEELINGS

REVEAL CHARACTER

inner thoughts and feelings

What does the character think? How does the character feel?

http://www.attributemagazine.com/index/images/stories/Staff/kat-thinking.jpg

FOUR WAYS

S

PEECH

REVEALS CHARACTER

first-person narration

definition: characters tell their own stories by speaking directly to the reader what they tell:

facts, backgrounds, thoughts, and feelings pronouns, such as I, me, my, we, and us

look for:

http://www.freedomscientific.com/LSG/imgs/200610_images/talking%20girls.jpg

FOUR WAYS

S

PEECH

REVEALS CHARACTER

dialogue

definition: a conversation between characters pay attention to:

what characters say about themselves and how they respond to each other ―I got an A in Mr. Anderson’s class,‖ said Kelly. ―You are such a kiss-up!‖ replied Tara.

look for:

http://www.d.umn.edu/~cwjohnso/images/GirlsReading_000.jpg

FOUR WAYS

S

PEECH

REVEALS CHARACTER

dramatic monologue
definition: a character speaks to silent listeners  it is a poem within a play or story

soliloquy
definition: a character speaks thoughts aloud— only the audience/reader hears  the speaker is onstage alone – in play

HOW DO WRITERS EXPLAIN CHARACTERS?

direct & indirectly

TWO TYPES OF CHARACTERIZATION
direct characterization indirect characterization

definition: readers are told directly what a character is like  look for:
 

adjectives

definition: readers must use their own judgment to decide what a character is like, based on given evidence  look for:
 

OAATS

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF CHARACTERS?

protagonist, antagonist, and subordinate

PROTAGONIST

protagonist

definition: the main character also known as (AKA):

hero

ANTAGONIST

antagonist

definition: the character or force that blocks the protagonist aka:
villain  external conflict  internal conflict

SUBORDINATE CHARACTERS

subordinate characters

definition: characters who play an important role in the story, but are not part of the main plot AKA:
supporting roles  extras

STOCK CHARACTERS

stock characters

definition: characters that play a minor role in the story and fulfill a stereotype example:

evil stepmothers

HOW ARE CHARACTERS DESCRIBED?

flat or round dynamic or static

HOW COMPLEX IS THE CHARACTER?
flat characters round character

definition: character with only one or two character traits  sample traits:
 

definition: character with many different character traits  sample traits:
 

outgoing and popular

loving mother, but cruel teacher

DOES THE CHARACTER CHANGE?
dynamic character static character

definition: character that changes as a result of the story’s events  often:
 

definition: character that does not change much during the story  often:
 

protagonist or antagonist

subordinate characters

WE’RE FINISHED!
Adapted from:

Holt Literature and Language Arts: Third Course

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