Make Inferences about Character Traits from the Text - Orchids
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Inference made from the Text

Make Inferences about Character Traits from the Text

Definition:

  • Character traits are certain features of the personality of an individual that defines his or her character.
  • Each person is different in some way from the other person. None of them is completely similar to another in every respect.
  • In literature, over the course of a plot, a character's traits may change.

Types of Character Traits:

There are different character traits we typically find in various characters. The traits can be broadly classified into three categories. They are positive, negative, and neutral.
Let us observe some of these traits
Positive - helpful, jolly, frank, hardworking , obedient, etc.
Negative - adamant, stubborn, rude, talkative, etc.
Neutral - introvert, traditional, lonely, etc.
List of traits:

Character Traits
adventurous anxious ambitious annoyed
angry arrogant afraid busy
brave bossy bad childish
cheerful calm careful clumsy
confident depressed dishonest disrespectful
determined evil excited energetic
foolish friendly frustrated funny
helpful hard-working honest hopeful
imaginative impatient independent impolite
intelligent jealous kind lonely
lazy loyal loving messy
mischievous mean mysterious nervous
nice naughty obnoxious polite
proud quiet responsible rude
sad selfish serious shy
stubborn spoiled smart sweet
sneaky trustworthy talented thankful
unhappy upset weak worried

How can we infer character traits from a text?

To identify character traits, we can follow the points mentioned below:

  • Look at the character and observe what action the characters are performing.
  • Look what the character is feeling. Look for the changes in the character’s thinking or behaviour.
  • Observe the dialogue the author used for the character.
  • Keep track of whatever details the author mentions or artists portray regarding a character's outward appearance.
  1. Action:

    We can infer the character traits of a person based on his or her activity. In order to assist readers in comprehending the personalities of the characters. Authors often use the actions of the characters and their own descriptions of those actions.

    Example:

    Rohit accidentally knocked over the doorcase as he walked
    out of his room. He took a few more steps and then tripped
    over a staircase and collapsed on the ground.

  2. Dialogue:

    A character's personality can be shown to the reader in great detail through dialogue or a conversation between two or more persons. Based on what a character says or refrains from saying, we as readers can infer what that character truly is. Dialogue gives a character a voice and depicts the conflicts or reactions more vividly.

    Example:

    “I always like to stay on my own. I usually don’t attend
    parties. I find a unique pleasure in thinking over some
    innovative idea for a long time, and staying locked up in my room rather than meeting soo many people at one
    time”, said Pramod.

    From the above dialogue, we can identify Pramod’s character traits. Pramod is a reserved, reticent, and creative man. Such details help us to draw a picture of Pramod in terms of his character that can be expressed effectively with the help of words that denote his characteristic traits.

  3. Appearance:

    Take note of any outside physical characteristics that the author says about a character or that are depicted in images.

    Example:

    The man had long hair and was dressed in torn clothes. It
    looked like he hadn’t had a shower in days. There was
    a broken box in his hand that had some papers and a
    blanket inside. He looked to have lost his way and was
    unable to tell us properly what he was exactly looking
    for.
    What do we understand about the traits of the man from the above description?
    He must be a poor man. He may even be weak physically from travelling a long way and not being able to take care of himself for a long time.

  4. Feelings:

    The author will occasionally express what the character is feeling about certain things that are happening around them. This provides the reader with more details so they may better relate to and comprehend the character.

    Example:

    We own four stores. My mum purchased a new vehicle for
    me. We have hired four maids to work in our large home.
    My father has just returned from a business trip, and he
    bought expensive gifts from abroad.
    The above example shows that a speaker is a boastful person.

Common mistake:

  • You must carefully study the story in order to infer character features; otherwise, you won't be able to comprehend the character adequately.
  • The character traits must support the action, dialogue, or feelings of the character. We can’t use random traits that don’t match the character.
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