Characterization in Thank You M`am

Lesson Title: Introduction to
• The student will be able to:
• Analyze the methods authors use to
develop and reveal character.
• Determine character traits from indirect
• List some characters that you have
encountered in fiction whose traits reminded
you of real people that you know.
Character – Revealing Human
• Creating characters—telling what human
beings are like—is the whole point of
writing stories. It is interesting because it
tells about people and how we behave.
• Now you have named some characters
that you have encountered in fiction whose
traits reminded you of real people that you
know. How do writers create their
Characterization is the process of revealing
the personality of a character in a story.
2 Categories of Characterization
Indirect Characterization
Direct Characterization
Indirect Characterization
With this type of characterization, character is revealed
1. Character’s Speech
a. first-person narration – speak directly to reader (“I”)
b. dialogue – conversation between characters.
c. dramatic monologue – type of poem, speaker
addresses one or more silent listeners.
d. soliloquy – usually done in a play; it is a selfrevealing speech
Direct Characterization
With this type, the author tells the reader
directly what a character is like or what a
person’s motives are.
Thank You M’am
Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
Hughes traveled all over the world,
but he is chiefly associated with
Harlem, in New York City, where he
participated in the great flowering
of African-American art and writing
known as the Harlem Renaissance.
His most creative work was done
at his typewriter near a third-floor
rear-apartment window
overlooking a Harlem backyard.
He wrote stories, but is best known
as a poet.
Hughes preferred to let ordinary
people speak for themselves. His
poems are often written in dialect,
and many include slang—his
speakers say what is on their
minds, and they say it in the
language they use every day.
• This story is about a boy who tries to steal
from someone to get what he wants and
ends up learning something in the
• Why are people so tempted to steal? Why
can some resist the urge, while others give
into the temptation even while knowing
that they will probably be caught and
Summarize the plot of “Thank You M’am”
How do we meet Roger and
Mrs. Jones?
What does Mrs. Jones do to
• Why did she share her
supper with him after he
tried to rob her?
• What happens to Roger
at the end of the end of
the story?
• Roger was right in the middle of trying to
find a way to say thank you to Mrs. Jones
when she closed the door in his face.
What does this tell you about her
Characterization is how a writer gives insight into a
character’s personality. Judging from the dialogue of the
story, the setting, and your inferences how would you
describe the personalities of:
Mrs. Jones
Could you do the same thing as Mrs. Jones
if someone stole something from you?
Characters in stories show different aspects
of human nature. Do you know of anyone
like Mrs. Jones???

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