I need to write a character essay about "The Moths". It must be 600 words long, five paragraphs. My thesis needs to focus on examining how Helena Maria Viramontes uses character and character development to make a point in her story "The Moths." When discussing character in the body of my essay, I need to make certain to use the words and concepts round vs. flat and static vs. dynamic. The second paragraph has to focus on the character of the narrator and use quotations and paraphrasings from the story in order to support my thesis. The third paragraph has to focus on the character Abuelita and use quotations and paraphrasings from the story in order to support my thesis. The last paragraph has to provide a conclusion re-emphasizing and confinrming my thesis.

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Please note: The post contains numerous requests. The eNotes Homework Help policy allows for one question per post. This answer primarily addresses the elements of thesis development and the character type of Abuelita.

In “The Moths ,” Helena Maria Viramontes uses a first-person narrator, so the character of...

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Please note: The post contains numerous requests. The eNotes Homework Help policy allows for one question per post. This answer primarily addresses the elements of thesis development and the character type of Abuelita.

In “The Moths,” Helena Maria Viramontes uses a first-person narrator, so the character of Abuelita is seen through the narrator’s eyes. Let us consider the differences between round and flat, and static and dynamic as Viramonte uses them for these two women. In the eNotes Guide to Literary Terms, you will find useful discussions of of flat and round characters and of static and dynamic characters that should help you understand these terms and apply them to this story.

Although Abuelita under goes a profound change—she dies—she is not shown as experiencing any internal transformation; therefore, she is a static character. However, the narrator conveys many different dimensions to her grandmother’s personality, and thus paints her as a round character.

In terms of formulating a thesis about Viramontes’ methods of characterization, keep in mind that an effective thesis statement will be based in the evidence contained within the text. It might be helpful to begin with Abuelita, as she is the specific character you are asked to address. Systematically working through the story and making a list of all the attributes that the narrator mentions for her grandmother will help you see not only what the author has the narrator say about Abuelita, but how Viramontes structures the story. In what sequence does she provide the information? Does she continually raise new elements of Abuelita’s personality, or does she repeat the same items for emphasis? While the moths are the most obvious recurring motif, there may be others that more concretely or obviously provide a clear picture of the woman. In analyzing your results to create the thesis, keep in mind that the portrait is always filtered through the granddaughter, and be sure to distinguish between what that character reveals and what you think the author is doing.

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