Friday, January 8, 2010

Direct vs. Indirect Characterization

According to
Direct Characterization: in literature and drama, the method of character development in which the author simply tells what the character is like
According to
Indirect Characterization: shows things that reveal the personality of a character. There are five different methods of indirect characterization:
          Speech-What does the character say? How does the character speak?
            Thoughts-what is revealed through the character’s private thoughts and feelings?
            Effects on other Characters- What is revealed through the character’s affects on other people? How do other characters feel and behave in reaction to this character?
            Actions-What does the character do? How does he behave?
            Looks- what does the character look like? How does he dress?
chris1.jpg (400×219)
So far, I have gotten the impression that Alex is completely and utterly independent; however his independence often comes off as being stubborn or arrogant. Many people also find Alex to be slightly crazy or adulterated with some complexes, but these impressions are only because the normal population doesn't understand the intensity of independence that Alex portrays. Not many people can go weeks without seeing another human or can live with less than minimal amounts of money like Alex can.
Direct  Characterization

  • ·         Congenial
  • ·         Well educated
  • ·         Afraid of water
  • ·         67 lbs. when he died
  • ·         Wayne Westerburg claimed that Alex was “…the hardest worker I’ve ever seen. Didn’t matter what it was; he’d do it…” (pg. 18)
  • ·         Ethical
  • ·       Westerberg also explained, “You could tell right away that Alex was intelligent.” (pg. 18)
  • "Nice guy (McCandless), yeah pretty nice guy. Didn't like to be around people much." -Charlie (pg.42)
  • temperamental
  • "Nor was McCandless endowed with a surfeit of common sense." (pg. 62)

Indirect Characterization

  •          Short winded, when the driver asked for Alex’s last name he answered, “Just Alex.” (pg. 4)
  •          Risk taker, traveling with no worldly items and cheap camping gear. The only food he carries is a ten pound bag of rice; nothing substantial
  •          Free willed
  •          Against the government and its laws
  •          Humble and modest, gives the driver the last of his common items that he will not need since Alex had previously burned his money. He seldom takes any valued item that is given to him
  •          Gives all of his money from college to charity; he’s charitable
  •          Slightly arrogant, in a letter to his sister, Alex wrote, “…or that they’d think I’d actually let them pay for my     law school if I was going to go… I’ve told them a million times that I have the best car in the world…yet they ignore what I say and think I’d actually accept a new car from them….” (pg. 21)
  •          Ambitious
  •          Determined
  •      Detached; Alex even changes his name to completely start his new life

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