When you first meet a character in a story, you make a
You may say “He’s nice.” or “She’s mean.”
“Nice” and “mean” are words to describe a character’s
The author, through the narrator, tells us what the
character is like.
The author, through the actions or words of the
character or another character, shows us what the
character is like.
Thoughts and feelings
Reactions of other characters
Org, the ugly, was usually angry.
He raised his slimy fists and beat them against his
huge, hairy chest.
“I feel just like a dark sky,” Org shouted.
“I haven’t seen him this angry in a long time,” said
Org’s wife to the cook.
Poster Topic: How is your character characterized?
Due: Friday, Nov. 19, 2010
Directions: Write a poster essay in your group. The essay
must reflect how direct and indirect characterization
develops the character. Create a rough draft and a final
draft. Two people should be in charge of finding
quotations, another person to write the paragraph, and
someone else to edit the writing. Group members may have
more than one job assignment. Use your time wisely and
keep everyone working the whole time.
Each group member will use the analysis paragraph but
create a different poster. Your poster needs to have the
following elements: an analysis paragraph with TWO
quotations, a title, and an illustration. Please include the
literary terms direct and indirect characterization
In Tale of Two Cities, Carton is characterized as self-sacrificing and
self-loathing. Carton is a lawyer who defended one of the main
characters, Charles Darnay, when he was wrongfully accused of
treason. At the time of the trial, Carton meets and falls in love with
Lucie Manette. Although he loves her, he feels that because of his
fondness for drinking that he is not good enough for her. Carton
maintains his status as a friend of Charles and Lucie throughout the
book. Through indirect characterization the reader learned that
Carton is self-loating. After Darnay's first trial, Carton tells Charles "I
am a disappointed drudge, sir. I care for no man on earth, and no man
on earth cares for me" (57). When Carton says that he is a drudge and
no one cares for him, he is drunk and his words express his self-hatred.
Interestingly though, at the end of the book Carton is self-sacrificing
when he dies at the guillotine for his true love Lucie. Carton switches
places with Darnay just before he was exicuted. A young seamstress,
also about to be beheaded, recognizes that the man she is talking to is
not Darnay and she say, "'Are you dying for him?' she whispered." To
this Darnay replies, "'And his wife and child. Hush! Yes'" (274). By
giving his life so that Lucie can still be with the one she loves, Carton
shows through indirect characterization that he is willing to sacrifice
the greatest thing he has for Lucie-his life. This makes Carton a very
complex and moving character.