To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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What passages are examples of direct and indirect characterization of Tom Robinson in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird?

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An author creates direct characterization by coming out and describing a character's traits, often through the voice of the narrator. In contrast, an author creates indirect characterization by showing a reader what a character is like rather than telling the reader. The reader is able to figure out the character's traits through the character's actions, things the character says, and even through other characters' responses to that character. Harper Lee mostly uses indirect characterization to tell the reader the few things we know about Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird.

One example of indirect characterization occurs...

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