Characters - Orchids The International School
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Comprehending the Text

Concept: Characters

Definition:

  • When you read a story, there are certain things you may like about the characters in the text.
  • Characters are individuals who are part of the story. They can be people or animals or creatures or things in a story.
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  • Characters can think, feel, move, talk or act.
  • A character is a person or any other being in a story. A character could be imaginary or based on a real-life person.
  • Characters change sometimes, and they don’t remain the same as they were at the beginning of a story. Usually, something about them changes.
  • A story moves ahead through its characters.

How to learn about Characters in a story while reading a text?

Let us see how you can infer character traits and emotions while reading a text or a story.

  1. What is a character trait?

    Character traits indicate the character’s qualities. For example, honesty, loyalty, courage, and being helpful are character traits. It can be divided into internal, external, positive, negative, and neutral traits.

    • External – These traits detail a person’s appearance. For example, short, brown hair, visible birthmarks, and blue eyes. This will help you visualize what the character looks like.
    • Internal character traits – this is not visible right away but could be visible once you get to know the person.
    • Positive character traits – These traits have a positive impact. For example, it could be helpful, caring, reliable, faithful, and so on.
    • Negative character traits – Negative traits are the harmful qualities that lead to negative emotions. For example, rude, arrogant, and so on.
    • Neutral traits - Neutral traits could either lead to negative or positive results. For example, careless, impatient, nervous, and so on.
  2. What is a character’s emotion?

    A character’s emotion is the reaction or response to a situation. For example, excitement, happy, angry, and sadness are emotions of a character. Emotions change depending on the situation.

    How do you infer character emotions from a text while reading?

    Through a character’s actions, feelings, thoughts and dialogues, the emotions of a character can be inferred.

Common Mistakes

  1. Ignoring actions, dialogue and thoughts
  2. A character’s traits and emotions can be inferred by observing their actions, dialogues and thoughts, moods and tone. Do not ignore their dialogues, actions, feelings, and thoughts, as it will lead to misinterpretation of character.

  3. Confusing between character traits and emotions while reading a text or a story.
  4. Remember that feelings change constantly; they are short-lived. On the other hand, traits are more or less constant. They might evolve with time or as the story progresses.

Examples:

  1. A character could be unkind as the story begins and change to a friendly person as the story ends.
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  3. A character could be timid in the beginning and be brave by the story ends.
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Exceptions

A character is someone who can feel, speak or act and think. However, authors do personalize inanimate objects within a story, like non-living objects that could be considered characters that contribute to the story.

Examples:

  1. A pack of playing cards come to life in Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
  2. In the chapter “The Queen’s Croquet Ground”, Alice enters a garden, where she sees a parade of living playing card characters with human human-like heads, legs, and arms.

    Boy
  3. The book Aesop’s Fables has the animals personified.
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    Let us have a look at the mind map for quick reference.

Boy
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