Indirect Characterization

By: Anna, Peyton, Ashley


It is the process by which the personality of a fictitious character is revealed through the character's speech, actions, appearance, etc. When you watch a movie or tv show, you can tell what type of person a main character is by how they act in different or similar situations. It doesn't tell you what type of person somebody is unless you listen or watch how they act or what they say. You can also tell in a book by how they act by imagining them in your head.

The 5 methods of Indirect Characterization

The word STEAL stand for the 5 methods for indirect characterization.
1."Speech: What does the character say and how does he/she speak?
2. Thoughts: What is shown about the character through his/her private thoughts and feelings?
3. Effect: What effect does the character have on other people? How do they feel or react to him/her?
4. Actions: What does the character do? How does the character act in different situations?
5. looks: What does the character's appearance say about his/her personality?"

Examples of Indirect Characterization

If a parent tells their child to do something, and they backtalk by saying that they don't have to do what they say, then you can infer that the child is anger or doesn't want to listen or is lazy. In a book, the author doesn't tell us what the personality that the character has, so you have to decide based on the information in the book.
"In the short story 'The Scarlet Ibis' by James Hurst, there are many examples of indirect characterization. In the following excerpt, speech and actions are being used to show two characters' personalities: I jumped up, knocking over my chair, and had reached the door when Mama called,' Pick up that chair, sit down again, and say excuse me.' This tells us a bit about Mama and the narrator. In this scene, the narrator is quick to avoid a confrontation with his mother and is perhaps a bit clumsy, but he does have enough respect for her to listen to her as she firmly tells him what to do, asserting her authority over him by being direct."

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