I need an example of direct characterization and an example of indirect characterization from To Kill a Mockingbird.

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Atticus Finch is often given direct characterization. Miss Maudie repeatedly tells Scout and Jem about their father. 

In one case, Miss Maudie tells Scout that Atticus is "the same on the public streets as he is in his own home". She also describes Atticus in his abilities in general and in his specific ability with a gun. Each of these conversations is an example of direct characterization. 

An example of indirect characterization can be found in Atticus response to the verdict of the Tom Robinson case. 

He must have wanted to go home the short way, because he walked quickly down the middle aisle toward the south exit. I followed the top of his head as he made his way to the door. He did not look up.

Through a description of Atticus' behavior and demeanor, his disappointment is expressed concisely and clearly, though indirectly. 

Also at the trial, Tom Robinson's character is indirectly characterized. Robinson's willingness to cooperate and to please are expressed through his repeated attempts to place his crippled left arm on the bible to be sworn in as a witness. 

A further example of direct characterization occurs when Atticus, Jem and Scout have a conversation about what happened outside the jail the night before Tom Robinson's trial. They discuss Mr. Cunningham. 

Atticus placed his fork beside his knife and pushed his plate aside.  “Mr. Cunningham is basically a good man,” he said, “he just has his blind spots along with the rest of us.”

This passage is a clear example of direct characterization, as Mr. Cunningham's character is directly described in dialogue spoken in the person of Atticus Finch. 

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