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What is an example of Direct Characterization in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?
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High School Teacher
Direct Characterization is defined by its use of descriptive words and phrases, explicitly showing the person or character type. This is differentiated from Indirect Characterization, where a character's actions and speech define their character. Since the book is narrated by Huck Finn, most of the characterizations are from his own subjective descriptions; he tends to go for stereotypes and ignore the subtleties of action and speech, except as they affect him directly. For example, he describes Miss Watson as:
...a tolerable slim old maid, with goggles on... and took a set at me now with a spelling-book. She worked me middling hard for about an hour, and then the widow made her ease up.
(Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, gutenberg.org)
From this, we can see that Miss Watson is thinner than average, wears glasses, and is concerned with education and especially religion; this differentiates her from her sister, the Widow Douglas, who is more concerned with manners. Huck finds Miss Watson more of an annoyance than her sister, and while he later defines Widow Douglas in glowing terms, he is never anything but contemptuous for Miss Watson's preaching.
Posted by belarafon on September 27, 2012 at 6:31 PM (Answer #1)
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