Character Analysis: The Seventh Man
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The Seventh Man
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Learn why people trust wikiHow. Download Article Explore this Article parts. Writing Help. Tips and Warnings. Related Articles. Article Summary. Part 1. Choose your character. For a character analysis assignment in school, your character may be assigned to you. But if you get to choose, make sure you only consider characters who play a dynamic role in the story. Those characters who appear flat one dimensional - someone who is only good or only bad and has no complex motivations to consider are not good choices for a character analysis. It might be less effective to choose the duke or the king, the tricksters Huck and Jim meet in Arkansas, because they have fairly minor roles in the story, they don't show a wide range of emotions, and, more than anything, they're simply stock characters the story needs a humorous detour and a way for Jim and Huck to be separated, so that Huck can have his infamous All right, then, I'll go to hell!
Read the story with your character in mind. Even if you've read the story before, you need to read it again because you'll notice new things now that you have a specific task in mind. Notice every place that your character appears and consider the following: How does the author describe them? For the Huck Finn example, you might think about how Huck is described as a backwoods boy, but he clearly wrestles with larger issues that have complex social implications - like slavery and religion. What kinds of relationships does your character have with other characters? Think about how Huck relates to runaway slave Jim, both in the beginning of the novel and at the end.
Think about Huck's relationship with his drunk, abusive father and how it shaped his identity. How do the actions of your character move the plot forward? Huck is the main character, so obviously his actions are important. But what, specifically, is special about the way Huck acts? How does he make different decisions than someone else in the same situation might? You could talk about how Huck decides to rescue Jim from the people who intend to return him to his owner because he decides that slavery is wrong, even though this idea contradicts everything society has taught him.
What struggles does your character encounter? Think about how Huck grows and learns throughout the story. In the beginning, he is more likely to get caught up in schemes like faking his own death ; but later on, he avoids the trickery he observes like when he tries to ditch the deceptive duke and king. Take notes. As you read, take notes on all important elements that add to the depth of the main character as you read the work for a second time. Make notes in the margins and underline important passages. You can also keep a notebook handy while you're reading to help you keep track of your thoughts about the character as you read. Choose a main idea. Gather all of your notes about the character and try to think of the main idea relating to them.
This will be your thesis statement for your character analysis. Think about their actions, motivations, and the outcome of their story line. Maybe your thesis idea will be something about how the character embodies the struggles of growing up as a young boy, or about the inherent good in people. Maybe your character shows readers that even people who make horrible mistakes are capable and deserving of redemption. For the Huck Finn example, you might choose something about the hypocrisy of civilized society since, in essence, the novel is about a boy who was brought up to support enslaving blacks, but decides, through his experiences with Jim on the river, to value Jim as a person and a friend rather than just as a slave.
Similarly, Huck's own father captures and "enslaves" Huck, a situation that Huck eventually escapes and mirrors Jim's own quest for freedom. Society views Huck's escape as moral and just, but Jim's escape is a terrible crime to the townspeople. In this contradiction lies a major crux of the story. Make an outline. Once you have decided on your main idea, make a brief outline of all of your supporting material. Make note of each place in the text where your character displays the characteristic you've chosen for your thesis. Include complicating evidence that allows the character to have more depth. An outline will help keep your thoughts organized and maintain an effective flow as you move through the analysis.
Part 2. Write your introduction. Keeping your thesis idea in mind, prepare an introductory paragraph about the character you have chosen and the role that he or she plays in the literary work. Describe the physical appearance of the character. Describe what your character looks like and explain what their appearance reveals about them as a person. Make sure to quote or paraphrase directly from the work.
Think about Huck's ragged clothes and what that says about his character. Discuss how Huck dresses up like a little girl to find out the news in town and how this altered appearance influences your analysis of Huck. Discuss your character's background. If provided, include details about the personal history of the character some of these details may have to be inferred. People's histories inevitably influence their personality and personal development, so it is important to discuss your character's history if you can.
What kind of education does the character have? How does the character's past experience influence what he or she does or says? Discuss Huck's relationship with his father and with the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson, who take him in. How do these characters influence Huck's development? Discuss the character's language use. Analyze the language that the character uses throughout the work.
Does the character use the same language throughout or does his or her choice of language change from the introduction to the conclusion? Huck has an admittedly vulgar attitude for a little boy and often does not speak in a way that the Widow Douglas approves of. He does try hard to obey her and act appropriately in church, but he often missteps and announces himself, through his actions and words, as a person who is far less civilized than he pretends to be, or than the Widow would like him to be. Write about the personality of the character. Does the character act on emotions or reason? What values does the character exhibit through words or actions?
Does the character have goals or ambitions? Be specific and make sure to quote or paraphrase from the work. Huck Finn tries to abide by the rules of society, but at the end of the day he acts based on emotions. He decides to rescue Jim from being returned to his master, even though it is against the law, because he believes that Jim does not deserve to be treated like a slave. Huck decides this on his own, in direct opposition to the values his society has taught him.
Analyze the character's relationships with others. Think about how your character interacts with others in the story. Does the character lead or follow others in the story? Does the character have close friends and family? Use examples from the text along with your analysis. Describe how the character changes or grows throughout the plot of the story. Most major characters will experience conflict throughout the course of a story. Memorable characters usually change or grow in a literary work of merit. Huck's external conflict relies on all of the events that take place on his journey down the river - the physical struggle of the trip, his mishaps along the way, getting caught up in various scandals and schemes, etc. His internal conflict reaches its climax when Huck decides to help Jim attain freedom from slavery.
This is a crucial moment in the story where Huck follows his heart instead of his social conscience. Collect supporting material or evidence for the analysis. Make sure you provide specific examples from the text that support what you are saying about the character. Part 3. Support your writing with textual evidence. This means that you should incorporate direct quotations from the text you're writing about to support the points that you are making with your writing.
Using quotes from the text will increase your credibility as an author and will support your ideas more effectively. Use the PIE method. This means that you will make a Point, Illustrate it with a quotation from the text , and Explain how the quote makes your point. He insists, "It amounted to something being a raftsman on such a craft as that. Anchor the quote within your own words. A quotation should never stand alone as its own sentence in an academic paper. Instead, you should use your own words to "anchor" the quote into your sentence either before or after the quotation.
Incorrect: "It amounted to something being a raftsman on such a craft as that. Do not over-quote. Using too many quotes seems lazy and ineffective, and will probably earn you a poor grade from your professor. Writing Help Annotated Character Analysis. Support wikiHow and unlock all samples. Suddenly you start to panic as the typhoon gets closer and decide you must run away to survive this ordeal.
However, what about your best friend and his dog? Every man for himself? Would you forgive yourself for leaving your best friend behind in order to save yourself? Surprisingly, the narrator does not forgive himself for almost forty years after the incident. Some readers believe he. We might as well have both lost our lives at this rate. Go see the things I never got to see.