When writing about a character developing in a novel, do you need to focus on literary techniques such as symbolism, character development, setting, etc. as you would do in writing about a story...

When writing about a character developing in a novel, do you need to focus on literary techniques such as symbolism, character development, setting, etc. as you would do in writing about a story being told in a specific chapter?

Thank you.

Expert Answers
Jean Melek eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Characterization and character development are also part of a writer's technique.  How the character is revealed through his actions, words, what other people say about him, narration, etc. is an important part of how a writer works.  If you think about the character as a construction of the author, and not a real person, you can discuss his or her development as evidence of the choices the writer makes.  However, as you are discussing character development, you might need to or want to include a symbol that shows his development or comment on how the setting supports this development, etc. 

In addition, you can comment on why the writer has the character develop the way he/she does.  In other words, how does this particular development of the character support themes, ideas, meanings in the text?  If you're doing this - analyzing why the writer makes certain choices and what effect they have on our reading - you're doing literary analysis.  Good luck.  If you mention the specific character, you might be able to get some more meaningful feedback. 

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The Kite Runner

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