Question about character studiesCan somebody tell me what a Character study is? I have to do a character study on a character from Winnie the Pooh.
I believe a character study is the same thing as a character analysis. In doing such an analysis, you look to the character's actions (in terms of intelligence and wisdom), ethics, motivation, behavior toward other characters, descriptions of the character that are repeated often, items associated with the character (which could offer symbolic significance), drawing inferences, identifying the character as one who is capable of change and character depth, the setting in which the character is placed—perhaps a time frame or a location—and finally, reading between the lines to see how the author has chosen to present his/her character—how he or she has "judged" his character.
For example, we note that Piglet is always mindful of another's welfare, he tries to do the right thing (being a character of conscience), is often motivated and controlled by fear. Being so thoughtful in so many ways, I would suggest that Piglet has a depth of character, and is capable of learning and change to become a better...pig.
Sounds like a very entertaining assignment. Don't most people love the Pooh characters?!
A character study is basically an examination of what motivates the character and how they react based on their personality.
For example, if you were doing your study on Winnie himself, you would take examples from the text that show his general good nature, his roles with the other characters (deep friendship with Piglet, student to Owl, friendly nemesis to Rabbit), and the way his hunger propels the story by moving him to act impulsively.
See these links for some more ideas on how to apply Type to Character.
The objective of a character study is to understand the personality, psychology (if applicable), physical qualities and motives of a character. An interesting character, take Shakespeare's Shylock for example, may prompt many questions and a character study may locate, analyze, and suggest answers to one (or more) of those questions.
For example: Is Shylock reacting to Antonio's habitual persecution or is Shylock villainously precipitating wrong action? Is Shylock really as greedy as he seems or is he devastated by his daughter's betrayal? So a character study reveals the character and, hopefully, adds insight into the character.
Character studies could also include adverbs (this is following up on the excellent advice to use lots of adjectives in describing your character in the previous post). If you did your study of Tigger, obviously you would describe him bouncing happily, bounding energetically, and so on. If you were describing Eeyore, he walks slowly, talks with a mournful sound in his voice, his tag drags limply behind him... Describe how your character acts and what s/he does as well as describing the actual character!
I actually use Winnie-the-Pooh in one of my lessons during my Medieval unit. I use Tigger, Eeyore, Rabbit, and Piglet to exemplify the characteristics associated with the Four Humors: Sanguine, Melancholic, Choleric, and Phlegmatic. My students love it because they can relate unknown terminology with known characters.
Look them up and try it out for your character study. Creative way to examine the characters.
A character study also focuses on the traits of a character, or the adjectives that we would use to describe a particular character. So, a full character analysis would need to not only examine who the character is and their role in the novel but also the various traits of a character. Note the way that we can use various descriptions to help us in this, such as whether a character is round, flat, dynamic or static.
As a children's book, there are life lessons included in order to act a guides to the formation of the child/reader's character. Thus, in considering a character analysis of one of the personages in Winnie the Pooh, examine the influence upon the thematic structure that this character provides; i.e. what does he/she teach the children.