Character Analysis Peculiarities

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Essays based on literary works are challenging but enjoyable to write. You need to read the text, analyze the character, not miss the essential points, draw up a character analysis plan, and, finally, write the essay. The process is long, so our tips will probably come in handy. We will not dwell in detail on how to write a character analysis essay but will discuss the main nuances that are worth paying attention to while analyzing the hero.

What is a Character Analysis?

Everything that can be said about a literary hero based on the text of the work will be his/her characteristic. The image of a character is not only his/her thoughts, statements, or descriptions of the author. Behavior, attitude towards others, lifestyle, environment, manners, etc., tell a lot. To fully characterize a literary hero, you need to consider his/her figure in various circumstances, turning the inner world inside out.

A Character Analysis Plan

While reading the text, highlight the key points that will help you analyze the character. Let's consider the main ones in more detail.

  1. The place of the hero among other characters in work. Is the hero the main or the secondary?
  2. The name and surname of the character. Is there any interpretation of them? Many authors put some aspects of character into the name.
  3. The appearance of the character and the way he/she is dressed. What does the author pay special attention to? How does the hero's appearance compare with his/her character? Several characteristics can be given to the hero by other characters, which is also curious.
  4. Characteristics of the character's speech. What is the manner of speech? Does it have any features? Are there any phrases the character likes to use? Does he/she have parasite words? What can it point to?
  5. Description of the hero's dwelling, his/her life. What does the place where the character lives look like? Are there some interesting details that can reveal his/her character, habits, experiences, facts from the past? As in real life, a dwelling speaks of a person, same in literature. One has only to take a closer look.
  6. The origin of the character. In what family was the literary hero born? How was his/her childhood? How did the peculiarities of the era affect the upbringing of the hero? What is his/her education, occupation? How does he/she relate to his/her work (loves, hates, etc.)?
  7. The social and material situation of the character. At what stage of society is the literary hero? For the most part, does he/she have to obey or command? Does he/she have financial problems? If so, how does he/she perceive it?
  8. Character traits of the hero and his/her motivation. What can you say about the hero's outlook? What are his/her interests, occupations, profession? Does he/she have a goal in life? What is he/she striving for? What is he/she dreaming about?
  9. The character's feelings. What can you say regarding the relationship of the hero with the people around him/her? What are his/her inner experiences, feelings? What triggers the strongest emotions in character?
  10. The behavior and actions of the character. What critical actions can be distinguished in the text? How does he/she behave with other characters? How do they relate to him/her (and why)?
  11. How does the character's image develop throughout the entire work? Are there any changes to the hero? If there are, of what kind? Tracking the dynamics of the image of a literary hero is an important task.
  12. Comparison of the character with other participants in the action. What's the difference between them?
  13. Assessment of the character by the author. How does the writer relate to the hero? How can one characterize this attitude in a few words (admiration, dislike, indignation, indifference, etc.)?
  14. Determination of the typical and individual in the personality and behavior of the character. It may relate to his/her origin, status, age, or behavior in certain situations.
  15. The role of the character. What plot twists are the merit of the character being described? How does he/she affect the plot, its development, and its outcome? How does he/she relate to the central conflict in work?
  16. Conclusion. Why was the character's image created? What questions and problems does he/she help to solve in work? These are the most exciting findings.

Once the character analysis is ready, you can proceed to write the essay itself.

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