dimensions of a characterisation direct and indirect characterisation expression for writing a characterisation
DIMENSIONS OF A CHARACTERISATION Characters show a variety of dimensions you should consider when writing a characterisation (of course only as far as the text gives you information on these dimensions). Dimension Personal data Outward appearance What does the character look like? Background What do you know about the background of the character? Language How does the character talk? Actions, behaviour, interactions How does the character behave? How does he/she (inter)act (with others)? Feelings, thoughts Motives Example name, age, sex, religion, birthplace, home hair, eyes, figure, clothing dialect, slang, scientific, colloquial Useful vocabulary male, female, young, middle-aged, elderly, old, X-year-old, married, single, divorced, widowed, originally from... social background, family, job, interests main character traits, hobbies, interaction with others (how does the character treat other characters?), relationship with other characters tall, small, pretty, handsome, good-looking, beautiful, pale, tanned, healthy, wrinkled, bony, bright/dull eyes, curly/straight hair, loud/sonorous/soft voice talks friendly, in a rude way, quietly, politely,... uses simple sentences, foreign words, colloquial expressions, ... positive character traits: adventurous, ambitious, brave, calm, cheerful, clever, considerate, curious, determined, extroverted, funny, generous, gentle, good-natured, hard-working, helpful, honest, humorous, mature, modest, nice, open-minded, optimistic, outgoing, patient, polite, popular, reasonable, reliable, responsible, self-confident, sensitive, strong, talented, thoughtful, tolerant, trustworthy negative character traits: aggressive, anxious, arrogant, bad- tempered, childish, conceited, cowardly, dishonest, disrespectful, distant, frustrated, greedy, impatient, impolite, inconsiderate, insecure, intolerant, introverted, irresponsible, jealous, lazy, mean, messy, miserable, moody, narrow-minded, nervous, pessimistic, reserved, rude, ruthless, selfish, showy, shy, spiteful, stubborn, unreliable, violent, weak What are the character's feelings? What does he/she think about him-/herself or about others? Why does the character behave like that? Which reasons does...
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he have? Influences from the past, hopes, fears DIRECT AND INDIRECT CHARACTERISATION Direct: The reader is told about a character's personality directly by a) the narrator b) another character c) by the character him- or herself Indirect: The reader is expected to draw conclusion about a character by a) studying his or her behaviour b) opinions c) choice of words and/or way of talking EXPRESSIONS FOR WRITING A CHARACTERISATION This is an example of ... In the beginning, the reader gets to know that... This reveals that x ... This shows that x is.... x also appears (to be) .../ is described as.../ is portrayed as ... / seems to be... x likes to be... ● Another important/significant aspect/fact is (that)... He behaves in a very way Due to this aspect one can conclude that ... Therefore, one must suppose that... It is quite apparent/obvious that ... Not only does x he/she also ... Proof of this can be found in II.1-4, ... when X.... ..../ x is portrayed as ... This behavior clearly indicates that x ... ● ● ● x represents (the) .. To sum up, ... / Finally, ...