Published on March 14, 2014
Elements of Literature
is the process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character… Where the author creates a character on a page and make readers feel as if they have met a real person… creating characters boils down to, ultimately: making the audience care... Character Development
Character Analysis Physical. • What does the character look like? • How do the character’s physical attributes play a role in the story? • How does the character feel about his or her physical attributes? • How does the character change physically during the story? • How do these changes affect the character’s experience? Intellectual. • How would you describe this character’s intelligence? • What does this character know? How does this character’s intellect compare to others in the story? • Is this character smart enough to thrive in the world in which he or she lives? • What does this character learn as the story develops?
Character Analysis Emotional. • How does this character feel most of the time? • How do his or her feelings change throughout the story? • How does this character feel about himself or herself? • When faced with challenges in the story, what emotions come up for this character? Social. • How does this character get along with other characters in the story? • Who does this character choose for friends and why does this character choose them? • Where does this character stand in the social order? • How does this character’s social standing affect events in the story?
Character Analysis Philosophical. • What does this character believe about the way life is? • What are these beliefs based on? How do these beliefs affect the choices this character makes? • How do those beliefs change throughout the story? • Do others in the story share these beliefs?
“The ten-minute walk in a cooling breeze took none of the heat from his indignation. He marched straight through the doors of the bowls club, his clothes still damp and dishevelled from a day on the barge, the bloody gash along his thumb dripping blood onto the carpet. He spotted Beryl at the last poker machine in a long gaudy row and made for her with purposeful strides until he stood only metres away.” (p.97) Description of Carl Matt
“The ten-minute walk in a cooling breeze took none of the heat from his indignation. He marched straight through the doors of the bowls club, his clothes still damp and dishevelled from a day on the barge, the bloody gash along his thumb dripping blood onto the carpet. He spotted Beryl at the last poker machine in a long gaudy row and made for her with purposeful strides until he stood only metres away.” (p.97) Description of Carl Matt - Description
Character Name: Carl Matt What does the character say and do? What does the character think and feel? How does the character look? What do the other characters think about the character? How does the character make you feel? He marched into the bowls club, purposely He felt indignant He looked damp and dishevelled. He had a gash on his thumb. He is ignored by his Aunt Beryl. Proud – that he finds the courage to stand up for Harley.
Character Traits Identify a character trait for Carl Matt: ________________courageous If possible, identify another character trait: ________________caring
Help us understand why characters speak and act the way they do. Help us understand what the characters think or why they have certain beliefs. Help us understand a character’s relationships with other characters. Help us predict what characters might do next. Help us make inferences and to draw conclusions about events in the story. Character Traits:
“He took in a breath. Held it. Words, he needed words. The breath slid out of him and he began to shiver, not from the icy touch of his clothes but the fear that suddenly froze his heart. “I want the key,” he managed to say. Pitiful words. No more than the woman expected of him. They told nothing of what was sealed inside him still.” (p.98) Description of Carl Matt
Character Name: Carl Matt What does the character say and do? What does the character think and feel? How does the character look? What do the other characters think about the character? How does the character make you feel? Name a character trait ________________ If possible name another character trait ________________
The two types of characterization are direct characterisation and indirect characterisation. If a writer tells you what a character is like, the method is called direct characterisation. If a writer prefers to show characters in action, the method is called indirect characteriation. Characterisation: Creating Characters
Direct presentation Indirect presentation The author or narrator makes direct statements about a character's personality and tells what the character is like. How does the character STEAL your attention: • A character’s Speech (What does the character say? How does the character speak?) • A character’s Thoughts (What is revealed through the character’s private thoughts and feelings?) • A character’s interactions [Effect on others] (What is revealed through the character’s effect on other people? How do other characters feel or behave in reaction to the character?) • A character’s Actions (What does the character do? How does the character behave?) • A character’s Looks (What does the character look like? How does the character dress?) To identify character traits, think of the following:
Direct Indirect Lewis always took ages to get ready. He really did. He always forgot something. He had to make sure that his outfit was just right - that was his problem. Eventually he would appear, say sorry, and you’d explain to him that he had taken ages – again. Lewis looked at himself in the mirror, adjusting his shirt. He put on his new watch and looked at the time. Getting on, he thought. His wallet was somewhere, as were his keys, but he wasn’t ready to look yet. He looked at the shirts on his bed, thinking what to wear. After a while, he took off the one he was already wearing, picked up the yellow one instead and put it on. He looked into the mirror again, checking his beard and spraying some cologne on his neck. He found his keys on the side, and eventually his wallet appeared in a coat he had worn the night before. He put on his shoes and had one last look in the mirror by the door. His friends were waiting outside, grumpy and muttering because of the time he had taken. “Sorry.” He said. Direct/Indirect: Example…
He knew this wasn’t enough. He was being reasonable, controlled, keeping that same damned politeness in his own voice. He could feel the heat inside him and in that instant he let it go, let it bubble up into his throat. He shouted for the whole bar, whole town, to hear, a wild ferocious roar. “You’re not putting him on that chain any more. Do you hear me? No more. You won’t hit him, you won’t even touch him, no matter what he does.” Carl’s hand rose up, index finger pointing, punching the air in front of his aunt. “He deserves better than that.” He made his way past the stunned and silent patrons, turning briefly as he entered the foyer. “And so do I,” he shouted. Then he was gone. (p.99) Indirect? Direct?
Writers also give readers a view of their characters from another angle: through characters’ relationships with each other. Character reactions reveal qualities of both characters and their relationship…through: what characters say to each other and how characters act toward each other Relationships - Indirect
Beryl didn’t realise at first that he had lingered and she continued to play, pressing the button, watching the garish symbols roll down the screen and one by one come to a halt. She’d lost this time. Only then did she notice Carl and the other faces peering from either side of him. “You shouldn’t have done it,” Carl said again, less tentatively this time. He imagined himself on the barge, shouting to a driver, putting him on the deck in just the right spot. His voice rose. “It was cruel. You wouldn’t do it to a dog.” Men began to move closer from the bar, forming an audience. “Don’t make such a big drama out it,” said Beryl, looking around at the startled faces. Carl saw nothing but his aunt slouched on the stool, still unmoved by what she had done. She brought the cigarette to her lips and drew deeply, tilting her head and letting the smoke shoot out strongly. This was her most intimidating pose, one that had repelled him many times before. “Go home, Carl,” she said. (p. 98/9) Aunt Beryl and Carl
What relationship exists between Aunt Beryl and Carl? How is this revealed in the passage by: what the characters say to each other? how the characters act toward each other? What indication do we have, in this passage, that times are changing? That the relationship is changing? Aunt Beryl and Carl
Motivation is the reason why people do the things they do. Uncover a character’s motivations by paying attention to Then, think about the outcome of the character’s actions. Motivation what the character says What the character does Clues about motivation
What was the motivation for Carl’s outburst at his Aunt Beryl? What about the outcome of Carl’s actions…was his outburst justified? Motivation
The protagonist is the main character. The antagonist is the character or force opposing the main character. Flat: characterized by one or two traits, summed up in a few sentences. Round: complex and many-sided. Stock: a type of flat, stereotypical figure who has occurred so often in fiction that his/her nature is immediately known (i.e. sinister villain, good sheriff, mad scientist, etc.) Classifying Characters
Static: unchanging character from the beginning to the end. Developing or Dynamic: undergoes a permanent change in some aspect of his/her character, personality, or outlook. Change should be plausible, meaning that the change is believable, given the details in the story. Classifying Characters
the events that take place in a story. Every story needs a plot! The plot has different parts: Exposition/Orientation Conflict Rising Action Climax Falling Action Resolution Plot
Suspense- excitement or tension Flashback- interrupts the normal sequence of events to tell about something that happened in the past Surprise Ending- conclusion that reader does not expect And…Foreshadowing… Ways to develop your plot
Plot of A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove
Character vs Character – problem with another character Character vs Nature – problem with a force of nature Character vs Society - problem with the laws or beliefs of a group or character vs. community, society or culture Character vs Self -problem with deciding what to do or think; “inner conflict” Types of Conflict
Character vs Character Character vs Nature Character vs Society Character vs Self Conflict – A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove What type(s) of conflict(s) existed in A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove: For Carl? For Aunt Beryl?
What is this place like? Why does it not suit Carl in the beginning? How does Carl evolve to belong in Wattle Beach? How does the ‘setting’ of a place impact on our development as human beings? Setting
What central message, concern or purpose was/were evident in A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove? Are some themes more evident/important than others? Themes
The literary device ‘motif’ is any element, subject, idea or concept that is constantly present through the entire body of literature. Using a motif refers to the repetition of a specific theme dominating the literary work. Motifs are very noticeable and play a significant role in defining the nature of the story, the course of events and the very fabric of the literary piece. Motifs
How does the idea of the ‘bridge’ play a significant role in defining the nature of the story in A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove? Bridges
A symbol is a person, place, or thing comes to represent an abstract idea or concept -- it is anything that stands for something beyond itself. Symbols
Joy keeps the injured bird safe until it is healed and ready to be released back into the world. When Carl joins Joy and the others in setting the osprey free he feels an overwhelming sense of elation and freedom. Joy remarks “Wasn’t it brilliant. It must be great to be free again, like that. I almost know how the bird feels.” (p193) The need for ‘freedom’ is a reoccurring theme in this novel. The Osprey
Carl suffers from the behaviour of his family – “the curse of the Matts”. Everyone assumes that because he is a Matt he will cause problems. Even Skip Duncan doesn’t want to employ Carl once he realises who he is. I lost so much that day ‘cause of your grandfather. ‘Cause of you Matts. Why should I care what happens to any of you? Bloody Matts. Rotten to the core. Every one I’ve ever laid eyes on. (p157) Are the Matts “rotten to the core”? Beryl feels that her family also suffered as a result of the accident. Do you agree that the Matts deserve any sympathy? What damage can it cause to have preconceived ideas of people? Can you identify any groups or people in society about which you or others may have preconceived ideas? What impact does this have on the way you view them and treat them? Consider the ‘pygmalion effect’ (people rise to the levels of expectations others have for them). Can you think of any circumstances where this may come into play? What impact does it have? Preconceptions
Using the novel A Bridge to Wiseman's Cove by James Moloney
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