What Is An Indirect Characterization And What Are The Examples Of It?

What Is An Indirect Characterization And What Are The Examples Of It?

The writer of a story shows a character’s personality indirectly through actions, speech, and appearances made by the character. If you watch a film or television show long enough, you can usually guess how certain characters will act and react in certain situations. If you want to learn more about indirect characterization, I would suggest you to go through the article and read it carefully.

Throughout the story, there aren’t necessarily any literal descriptors that say, ‘angel in the sky’ or ‘selfish, arrogant villain’; instead, the character’s personality emerges when you watch and listen to him or her. As you can see this screen provides an example of the indirect characterization being used. I believe that this holds for literary works as well.

As you read, you construct your pictures of the characters based on what’s described in the dialogue and actions.

Direct characterization refers to the process of defining a character directly, as suggested by its name. A fictional character is introduced in a very direct way, through their physical characteristics (blue eyes), their employment (lawyer), their interests (reader) and interests (passionate and curious), via the writing style as well as the author’s specific language.

As a result, direct characterization (if it is done incorrectly or not at all), can often leave the story’s star with a bland character that does not reflect the profundity of their character.

indirect characterization definition
indirect characterization definition

Four Tips For Using Indirect Characterization

  • Include indirect characterization in the dialogue
  • Describe a character’s personality by showing what they do
  • and how their actions affect them
  • through the use of emotional language in a viewpoint narrative

Indirect Characterization Examples Include:

Mark would walk up to Jeff, leave his sandwich on a plate, and take it off. A bite was taken by Mark, and he smirked at him as he walked away.

The boss of Joe called him to the office when it was time for Joe to go home. After Joe had finished a report on a new product, he was informed that he wouldn’t get his paycheck until he had finished a report on it. He got to his feet, dimmed the lights, and turned out the lights, and then he went home to his home. As he made his way back to his desk, Joe rubbed his back.

In the presence of Claudia, Mark looked a bit distressed. As she noticed what Jeff had done to Mark, she got up quietly and went to sit with him. Mark’s sandwich was half of her own sandwich so she gave him the other half. To distract Mark from Jeff’s news, she started talking to him about his favorite television show, and he soon forgot all about Jeff.

Some More Examples Of Indirect Characterization

There are more nuances to indirect characterization. We don’t learn it from one brief passage. Voicing someone’s character indirectly can be done in five ways:

  • Actions – It deals with the behavior of the character. Does he/she act rashly? Is she impulsive? Are these traits characterized by quiet, reserved, and hesitant attitudes?
  • Effects – How are they perceived by other characters? Are they admired? When they know they’re approaching, do they scatter to the wind?
  • Looks – How would you describe a particular character? Are they well-groomed and wearing the finest clothes? Would you describe them as free-spirited, hippie-like?
  • Speech – How is the character’s dialogue created? What kind of stammer and stutter do they make? Alternatively, do they command attention whenever they speak, regaling the room with their presence?
  • Thoughts – It is possible to learn a lot about the character from their thoughts if an author has omniscience, or the ability to relay every character’s thoughts. How do they spend their free time? What do they do? Do they worry about offending anyone and losing everyone’s affection all through their days?

Difference Between Direct And Indirect Characterization

Indirect characterization differs from direct characterization, so knowing the difference helps you determine which is right for your project.

  • A character’s indirect characterization is explained by their thoughts, their actions, and their dialogue.
  • Characters are described through their physical attributes, line of work, or passions and pursuits when direct or explicit characterizations are used.

It is always up to the reader to draw his/her conclusions, but they can draw conclusions that are wildly different from yours if you don’t provide enough clues. Readers interpret your text differently based on their backgrounds and experiences, which is not necessarily a detriment. If you make significant plot points difficult to understand by using indirect characterization, the reader may not be pleased with the reading experience.

Direct Characterization Examples

  • While escaping the Cyclops’ island with his men, Odysseus reveals his name to the Cyclops, showing his pride and arrogance.
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Cask of Amontillado” describes Montesor, the protagonist during the story, as a vengeful person who intends to seek revenge on Fortunato after he insulted him.
  • In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne constantly touches the scarlet “A” on her chest, revealing her guilt and remorse and hinting that something deeper remains hidden and unknown about her sin.
  • A soft side to George can be seen in Of Mice and Men when George is concerned about Lennie. After Lennie’s aunt Clara passed away, he started watching out for Lennie, which calms down his gruff exterior.

Direct Characterization: Tips For Success

Avoid Overdoing It

An easy method of characterization is direct characterization. Readers can get a sense of who your characters are with a single statement or phrase. Charles Dickens, in Hard Times (1854), describes Mr. Bounderby as follows:

As he always did, Mr. Bounderby put on his hat, because he had been occupied too much in making himself, know how to wear a hat.

Character Details Should Be Described In Direct Characterization

You should use direct characterization when introducing characters to the reader for the very first time. If you state the simple facts, like ‘She was a kind woman’, you can remember them more easily. In Elmore Leonard’s first novel, we meet ‘Mother’s Younger Brother’ (we will abbreviate “MYB”). Doctorow’s classic novel Ragtime (1975) is a superb story of family relations.

Mother’s younger brother boarded the streetcar at the bottom of the hill and rode to the end of the line. It was thought that he was having difficulty finding himself. He had a blond moustache and was lonely.

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