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From Inference to Characterization
Transcript of From Inference to Characterization
Actions to Traits
What is a Character Trait?
When we talk about a character, we often describe that character in terms of
, descriptive adjectives like
that tell us the specific qualities of the character. They are the same kinds of words that we might use to describe ourselves or others, but we often use them to describe fictional characters in something we've read.
From the Text to the Trait
In high school, when analyzing a character,
it is very important that your writing begins to move away from the simple adjectives you used in elementary school and middle school, like
, to more complex adjectives, like
An easy way to think about characters is to use a simple chart to go from what the text says about the character to an inference about the trait the text indicates.
How do we find a Character's Traits?
Sometimes the author will tell us these traits directly.
More often, the author will show us these traits in action.
Characters do things. They feel things. They hear things. They say things. They think things. They go places. They can walk, run, leap, and jump. They may sit and rock in a rocking chair. They may just lie in bed, sleep, and dream. But the important thing is that
These actions show us what kind of people these characters are:
As readers, our job is to infer character traits from what the character does, says, and thinks, as well as their body language, their physical description, and how other characters relate to them.
We might infer a character trait from a character's membership in a group, something a character does only once, or we might draw our conclusions from a series of things the character says and does.