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Character - Revealing Human Nature
Transcript of Character - Revealing Human Nature
Stories are interesting because they tell us about who we are and why we behave the way we do. SO...how does a writer build a character -someone who will seem real - out of just words? Characters reveal their nature most obviously through what they say and how they say it. Speech the character tells his/her own story
speaks directly to the reader
presents facts and describes events
also tells us what they are thinking and feeling
reveal personal traits First-Person Narration a type of poem
speaker addresses silent listener(s)
addresses specific problem or situation
speaker reveals own traits and values
we learn about the relationship with the listener(s) Dramatic Monologue self-revealing speech in a play
character alone onstage, speaking to him/herself
reveal deepest thoughts
common in Shakespeare - "To be or not to be..." Soliloquy characters speaking to one another
like listening in on a conversation
learn about them based on what they say and how they say it
also learn about them by how they respond to each other Dialogue Sometimes character traits are reflected in outward appearances. Appearance "The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shriveled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue..." -A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens Ebenezer Scrooge Dickens want us to think of Scrooge as a character whose cold heart is reflected in his whole appearance. How do other characters feel about him/her? How do they respond to his/her actions and words? Reactions of Other Characters Fiction writers can take us into the characters' minds . We can "listen" to their private thoughts as they respond to events in the story. Private Thoughts Actions speak louder than words! Actions Indirect Characterization Direct Characterization When the author tells us DIRECTLY what a character is like or what his/her motives are. "Oh, but he was a tightfisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!" -A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens Ebenezer Scrooge When the author SHOWS us a character, but allows us to interpret for ourselves what kind of person we are meeting.