Concept: Find the Character's Emotions
- Characters in stories have emotions. It is the way how a character responds to an event or a happening or a situation. Character emotions changes in a situation or after an event.
- Emotions are feelings of a characters that change depending on the situation. This is where the difference lies between character emotions and character traits. Character traits are constant as they are qualities that make the character’s values.
How to Infer Character’s Emotions from a Text?
- Pay close attention to what characters say and do in the story.
- Observe the character’s thoughts and how they speak with others.
- Listen and think about what the character might feel as the story progresses.
- Feelings cannot be told. They are shown through various actions or dialogues.
- Why did the character do that?
- What might the character do next?
Sushmita’s heart beat fast when she heard a knock on the door in the middle of the night.
We can infer that Sushmita is afraid.
- Why did the character say that?
- What is the character thinking?
- Try to visualize the expression and gestures of the character.
- “Hurray! I got the job finally.”
- “Stop following me”, Riya said to Jibin.
We can infer that the emotion of the character here is happy.
We can infer that Riya is annoyed.
There are authors who indicate character’s feelings and emotions in the text itself. This makes it easy for the reader to infer what the character means.
"Ah! there's another," said the man, with a certain satisfaction in his tone, as if he had caught sight of something expected.
Above is a passage quoted from The Idiots by Joseph Conrad.
As you can see the author mentions one of the character’s emotions during that point of time.
Not observing what the character says, does and what happens to them.
A reader must pay attention to what the character does and says in the given situation. These are the clues that help to infer the character’s feelings.