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Literary Terms

Characterization (Indirect- Dialogue, Direct); Theme; Tone (Diction)
by

Rebekah Whigham

on 7 March 2014

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Transcript of Literary Terms

Literary Terms Continued
Characterization
Characterization is the method an author uses to develop characters and reveal their traits, or qualities.
Theme
The theme is a central message in a literary work.
Tone
The tone of a literary work is the writer's attitude toward a subject.
There are TWO types of characterization.
Direct Characterization
With direct characterization, the author makes statements that directly describe what the character is like.
Example: Mariah is the bravest girl in the sixth grade. She may be pale and tiny, but nothing scares her--not spiders, not huge barking dogs, not even mean old Mr. Jonas down the block.
Indirect Characterization
With indirect characterization, the author reveals a character through that character's words and actions or through the words and actions of other characters.
Example: I don't care what those young fools say; I will not leave this place. I have lived on this mountain since that roaring highway was a dirt road. My body may be bent, but I will stand firm.
Direct Characterization TELLS
Indirect Characterization SHOWS
Dialogue
Dialogue is a conversation between characters.
Remember that theme and subject are not the same. The subject is what the story is about. The theme is the writer's MESSAGE about a particular subject.
Subject
Theme
Competition
Winning isn't everything
Forces of Nature
Humans can't control the forces of nature.
Failure
Failure may teach more than success teaches.
Dialogue between characters is one way to learn more about a character indirectly. What is the character saying? Why is the character saying it?
The tone can often be described in one word, such as
playful
or
serious.
How do we determine the tone of a literary work?
1. Diction
A writer's word choice, or diction, is an important element of his or her writing. The words a writer uses can make writing seem difficult or easy, formal or informal.
Diction includes not only individual words but also phrases and expressions the writer uses.
2. Sentence Structure
Simple, direct sentences can add a conversational tone. Long, complex ones can create a dignified tone.
Analyzing Arguments
Assertion: what the writer is trying to prove
Example: Sports programs should be funded by private individuals, not schools.
Evidence: the support used to convince the reader
Example: Because students who participate in sports get the benefits of that activity, the students should do fund-raising to pay for the use of equipment and training.
Indirect Characterization
STEAL
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Speech: What does the character say? How does the character speak?
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Thoughts: What is revealed through the character's private thoughts and feelings?
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Effect on others toward the character: What is revealed through the character's effect on other people? How do other characters feel or behave in reaction to the character?
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Actions: What does the character do? How does the character behave?
STEAL
Looks: What does the character look like? How does the character dress?
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