Characterization

Definition:
Characterization in literature refers the step by step process wherein an author introduces and then describes a character. The character can be described directly by the author or indirectly through the actions, thoughts, and speech of the character.

Example:
Michael Corleone was not jus’ a mafiaso, but a family man. A man who walked the knife’s edge to preserve his sanity.

5 thoughts on “Characterization”

  1. Narrative characterization.
    When is the point of view established during a narrative? Is it established in the beginning or does it also get established throughout the story?

    If the narrator and characters of the narrative are introduced in the beginning of the story, do they get introduced again in future chapters?

    Should these characters be developed throughout the story or mainly in the beginning when the characters are introduced?

  2. Every narrative uses characterization because every story must have characters. In stories, the protagonist is the character that is in the centre of the action. The antagonist is determined by what the conflict is. If someone is having a conflict with a person, the antagonist is the one he is fighting (Man versus man conflict). If the protagonist is fighting himself, he is both the protagonist and the antagonist (Man versus himself conflict). If the protagonist is in conflict with nature, lost in the woods or at sea, for example, the antagonist is nature (Man versus nature conflict). If the protagonist is in conflict with a force greater than himself (such as society or an organization), the antagonist is that force (Man versus a force conflict).

    Colloquialisms are words that people say but should not write down. Swear words and local dialect words fall into this category. Examine the words spoken by the characters to see if colloquialisms are used.

    Allusions are references to other literary works, often from the Bible or Shakespeare, etc.
    Saying someone is a Romeo is an allusion to Shakespeare’s play. Saying that someone walks on water is a Biblical allusion to Jesus walking on water.

  3. Can someone tell me if the following, taken from The Story of an Hour, is direct or indirect characterization: “It was Brently Mallard who entered, a little travel-stained, composedly carrying his grip-sack
    and umbrella.”

  4. Direct characterization is when the narrator tells the reader something about a character. Indirect characterization is when the narrator shows the reader something about the character through the character’s actions, speech or appearance.

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