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Kimberly Huff

on 16 September 2013

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Transcript of Characterization

Direct & Indirect Characterization
Characterization is the process by which the writer reveals the PERSONALITY of a character.
Characterization is revealed through direct characterization and indirect characterization.
Direct Characterization--The author directly states the personality of the character. You don't have to make any inferences!

Indirect Characterization--see the STEAL method via


Indirect Characterization from "Everyday Use"

Dee--"Un huh," she said happily. "And I want the dasher, too."
Dee--"Maggie can't appreciate these quilts!" she said. "She'd probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use."
Maggie--"She can have them, Mama," she said, like somebody used to never winning anything, or having anything reserved for her. "I can 'member Grandma Dee without the quilts."
Your Turn
More Practice
Direct Characterization from "Everyday Use"
(Dee) "At sixteen she had a style of her own: and knew what style was."

(Dee) "When she was courting Jimmy T she didn't have much time to pay to us, but turned all her faultfinding power on him."

(Dee) "'But they're priceless!' she was saying now, furiously; for she has a temper."
private thoughts reveal what they think, feel, want, or fear
Mama--"Why don't you do a dance around the ashes? I'd wanted to ask her. She had hated the house that much."

Effect on Others Toward the Characters
Dee's effect on Mama--"I am the way my daughter would want me to be: a hundred pounds lighter, my skin like an uncooked barley pancake. My hair glistens in the hot bright lights. Johnny Carson has much to do to keep up with my quick and witty tongue."

Maggie will be nervous until after her sister goes: she will stand hopelessly in corners, homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs, eying her sister with a mixture of envy and awe. She thinks her sister has held life always in the palm of one hand, that "no" is a word the world never learned to say to her.
What they do and how they do it says a lot about characters.
Mama--"I can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man...I can work outside all day, breaking ice to get water for washing; I can eat pork liver cooked over the open fire minutes after it comes steaming from the hog. One winter I knocked a bull calf straight in the brain between the eyes with a sledge hammer and had the meat hung up to chill before nightfall."

Dee--"Dee, though. She would always look anyone in the eye. Hesitation was no part of her nature."

Maggie--"That is the way my Maggie walks. She has been like this, chin on chest, eyes on ground, feet in shuffle..."
Maggie--"...homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs..."

Mama--"In real life I am a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands. In the winter I wear flannel nightgowns to bed and overalls during the day...My fat keeps me hot in zero weather."

Dee--"Dee is lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller figure. She's a woman now...the cute shape..."
Look at me
You may think you see
Who I really am
But you'll never know me
Every day
It's as if I play a part
Now I see
If I wear a mask
I can fool the world
But I cannot fool my heart

Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me?
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?

I am now
In a world where I
Have to hide my heart
And what I believe in
But somehow
I will show the world
What's inside my heart
And be loved for who I am

Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me?
Why is my reflection
Someone I don't know?
Must I pretend that I'm
Someone else for all time?
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?

There's a heart that must be
Free to fly
That burns with a need to know
The reason why

Why must we all conceal
What we think, how we feel?
Must there be a secret me
I'm forced to hide?
I won't pretend that I'm
Someone else for all time
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?

Writer(s): Matthew Wilder, David Joel Zippel, James Merrill Brickman, Jerry Goldsmith

Copyright: Walt Disney Music Co. Ltd
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