Which Sentence is an Example of Characterization Through Action

Which Sentence is an Example of Characterization Through Action.

Characterization – how y’all make a fictional character seem like a real, living, animate person – is catchy. Too describing characters physically, you lot need to convey their motivations, goals, personalities and flaws to make characters truly iii-dimensional. Here are 5 characterization examples that prove how to reveal your characters’ vital qualities:

ane: Learn from rich direct characterization examples

Updike on character-writing and the writing process

There are 2 broad types of label in fiction. When an writer describes a character explicitly to the reader, via a narrator or through some other character’s eyes, this is called
directly characterization.

This type of narration tells us precise information such every bit how a character looks or how they come across the earth. Here is a rich case from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’southward
Love in the Time of Cholera
(1985), a clarification of the ageing Fermina Daza:

‘Her stylish attire did non seem appropriate for a venerable grandmother, but it suited her figure – long-boned and still slender and cock, her resilient easily without a single historic period spot, her steel-blue hair bobbed on a slant at her cheek. Her clear almond eyes and her inborn haughtiness were all that were left to her from her wedding portrait, just what she had been deprived of by historic period she more than made upwards for in character and dilligence.’ (pp. 25-26)

Marquez explicitly tells usa both well-nigh Fermina’s appearance and her character (her ‘inborn haughtiness’ and ‘dilligence’). The clarification is direct and explicit, leaving footling to infer.

2: Use subtler indirect character portrayal

The 2nd type is called
indirect characterization
because information technology is implicit (it
shows
rather than
tells). We empathize the grapheme through actions, responses and lines of dialogue. The author does non say ‘Tom was a very aroused individual’, but shows Tom’s anger in full swing.

In Alice Munro’s short story ‘Dimensions’, collected in
Besides Much Happiness
(2009), the author uses subtle indirect characterization. Doree, the protagonist, works every bit a chambermaid at a hotel. In the opening pages, Munro characterizes Doree through the optics of her co-workers:

‘They told her she should go trained for a job behind the desk-bound while she was nevertheless immature and decent-looking. But she was content to do what she did. She didn’t want to have to talk to people.’ (p.1)

This indirect characterization shows Doree is guarded. We later learn that Doree had been married with children, just her hubby killed them, assertive Doree had left for expert when she vacated their abode in the heart of a heated statement.

Munro uses indirect character building subtly throughout the story, as Doree recalls the buildup to the murder. Munro shows Lloyd’s controlling, jealous and threatening behaviour through dialogue:

He wanted to know what they talked about, she and Maggie.
“I don’t know. Nothing really.”
“That’south funny. Two women riding in a car. First I heard of it. Ii women
talking about null. She is out to pause united states up.”
“Who is?
Maggie?
“I’ve got feel of her kind of woman.”
“What kind?”
“Her kind.”
“Don’t be silly.”
“Careful. Don’t call me silly.” (p. 12)

Instead of saying ‘Lloyd was dangerously jealous and aggressive’, Munro shows this in his words. This has a subtler outcome, assuasive us to interpret and connect characters’ words and deeds ourselves.

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iii: Using dialogue to reveal characters’ personalities and interests

Dialogue contains many elements that aid characterization. You can show what drives your characters through:

  • The content of dialogue – what characters tend to talk near and how they say it
  • Gestures and body language (a graphic symbol who lightly touches another’southward shoulder, for example, shows familiarity and ease, versus the guarded signal of conversing with folded arms)
White teeth by Zadie Smith - book cover

In Zadie Smith’southward novel
White Teeth
(2000), the writer creates a colourful grapheme in Hortense Bowden, a devout Jamaican adult female living in London. Smith reveals Hortense’s bold character likewise as her controlling approach to parenting her daughter, Clara, through dialogue:

‘If Hortense Bowden caught her daughter sitting wistfully past the barred window, listening to the retreating splutter of an engine while the pages of the
New Bible
flicked over in the breeze, she koofed her upwardly-side her caput and thanked her to remember that only 144,000 of the Witnesses of Jehovah would sit down in the court of the Lord on Judgement Day.

[…]

“Some people,” Hortense asserted with a snort, ‘take done such a hol’ heap of sinning, it
tardily for dem to exist making eyes at Jehovah. It take endeavor to be shut to Jehovah. It accept devotion and dedication.
Blessed are the pure in heart for they solitary shall see God. Matthew five:viii″.’ (p. xxx)

Through dialogue, Smith conveys the extent and extremity of Hortense’due south piety. Hortense’due south accent adds further label, showing that the character is nevertheless close to her Jamaican roots, despite the change in geography.

Through this type of dialogue-based characterization, we come to ‘know’ a character. We already sense that Hortense has more Bible quotes in store, and more than scolding for Clara.

4: Evidence characters through their actions

It’s not only what a grapheme explicitly thinks or says that forms our idea of them. It’s also elements of activeness, from details as pocket-sized as body language to larger acts. Creating characters using action and dialogue (in addition to advent or inner monologue) ensures that characters build through all elements of a story.

Here, for example, in Toni Morrison’s
Jazz(1992), she shows the hairdresser Violet as an overburdened yet resourceful woman by describing her endless stream of daily tasks:

“When the customer comes and Violet is sudsing the thin gray hair, murmuring “Ha mercy” at appropriate breaks in the old lady’southward stream of confidences, Violet is resituating the cord that holds the stove door to its swivel and rehearsing the month’s plea for three more days to the hire collector.” (p. 16)

These small-scale deportment speak volumes, showing Violet’southward hard-working, forward-planning character.

Modest grapheme actions such as these might not exist
straightrelevant to the major plot points of a novel. Yet this indirect characterization gives us context for other, more than pivotal character deportment. Knowing that Violet plans her next human activity fifty-fifty while decorated with her last, nosotros can estimate, for example, that she volition be action-oriented in other situations, such as conflict.

v: Show readers your characters’ most private thoughts

Showing readers your characters’ thoughts gives useful insights into their personalities, desires and goals. You might, for case, contradict what a character says with their private, narrated thoughts, to prove a deceitful or a two-faced personality.

The modernist author Virginia Woolf excels at showing her characters’ psychologies. The style of narration called ‘stream of consciousness’ enables her to evidence her characters’ fleeting associations from moment to moment.

Here, for example, Clarissa Dalloway, the protagonist of
Mrs. Dalloway
(1925), remembers Peter Walsh, a man who’due south desire to marry she refused.The third person narration clearly follows Clarissa’south individual thoughts:

‘For they might be parted for hundreds of years, she and Peter; she never wrote a letter and his were dry sticks; but suddenly it would come over her, if he were with me now what would he say? – some days, some sights bringing him back to her calmly, without the former bitterness; which maybe was the reward of having cared for people; they came back in the middle of St. James Park on a fine morn – indeed they did.’ (p. 4)

Through this private thought and memory, we see how the character has learned and grown. Woolf shows us how securely Clarissa forms attachments to others, also equally her self-reflective nature.

To conclude, combine direct and indirect characterization. Use dialogue, activity and characters’ thoughts because this volition create richer, more detailed character portraits in your writing.

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Which Sentence is an Example of Characterization Through Action

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