What is the definition of direct characterization?

The definition of direct characterization is when an author, though a narrator or another character, explicitly tells the reader what kind of person a character is.

Direct Characterization

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Last Updated on February 25, 2021, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 104

Direct characterization occurs when an author explicitly tells the reader what kind of person a character is. This information can be given by a narrator or a character in the story.

Correct examples:

  • “Sam was a stubborn and proud boy.”
  • “‘I am a very independent person,’ Sam said.”
  • In this...

(The entire section contains 104 words.)

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Direct characterization occurs when an author explicitly tells the reader what kind of person a character is. This information can be given by a narrator or a character in the story.

Correct examples:

  • “Sam was a stubborn and proud boy.”
  • “‘I am a very independent person,’ Sam said.”
  • In this case, a character is directly characterizing himself.

Incorrect example:

  • “Sam was not pleased when he received a C- on his math exam.”
  • Remember that direct characterization occurs only when something is said that speaks to someone’s character traits. Not every explicit description or revelation is direct characterization. 

 

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