Are there any examples of direct characterisation in the text of Of Mice and Men?
I've read somewhere that one example is where the narrator says Curley is 'mean' or something along those lines but I can't find that quote in the novella anywhere. If there are examples of direct characterisation it would be really helpful if someone could cite them along with the page number so I can look them up.
1 Answer | Add Yours
Let us just remind ourselves of what direct characterisation means. Direct characterisation is when the author or narrator simpley tells us directly what characters are like. It's opposite is indirect characterisation, which is when a writer reveals character traits indirectly, through appearance, dialogue, private thoughts, actions and effects of actions. If we look at this excellent novel, and in particular the way that Steinbeck introduces characters, we can see that he uses indirect characterisation.
I've just tried to find some examples of direct characterisation, but I haven't been successful. Even the bit you refer to in your question, the introduction of Curley, is an example of indirect characterisation. Consider how Curley first appears:
His eyes passed over the new men and he stopped. He glanced coldly at George and then at Lennie. His arms gradually bent at th eelbows and his hands closed into fists. He stiffened and went into a slight crouch. His glance was at once calculating and pugnacious.
We can see it doesn't say "Curley was mean," but it describes his actions, giving us an excellent example of indirect characterisation and how he was "calculating and pugnacious" in his glance. Although there appear to be no examples (that I can find) of direct characterisation, you might like to think why Steinbeck chose to write in this way and what effect he was trying to achieve.
We’ve answered 319,197 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question