How to uncover a charcters motive

steps on how to locate a characters motivation

First, annotate the text

When annotating a story, you want to find key words that the author uses and ask questions that you have about the story. For example, in Seedfolks, Sam is a man that does everything he can to make people happy. When he was younger he used to get involved in his community to try to make a difference. He mentions, "paradise" and a woman is shocked by his statement. He says paradise to him is like the Garden of Eden. The use of the word "paradise" makes people think of a beautiful place where everyone wants to live. Paradise also helps the reader to understand the type of person Sam is, loving, caring and determined.

Second, find key words that show a characters mood or feeling

When trying to find a characters motivation, its very important to locate words that help show how they feel throughout the entire story. In Seedfolks, Sam feels determined because he wants to bring his community together and make it more peaceful for everyone. He tries to get people talking in order to "sew up the rips in the neighborhood." He's trying to say that if the neighborhood comes together and talks about the problems they have, then their neighborhood (community) would become more cooperative and peaceful, It would make everyone want to plant something in the garden.

Third, look at other characters to see what the main characters motive is

In the chapter about Sam, he talks about how "Fisherman "mend" the rips in their nets," and that's what Sam does, except he does this only with people . He said that he used to try and patch up the world, but he worked for different groups promoting world government, planning and sitting up conferences on pacifism, and he also raised money. While doing this, Sam still didn't give up the fight, he changed from trying to mend the entire world to just a small portion of "Cleveland." Sam also has people from the neighborhood smiling at him because he's friendly and determined to make as big of a change that he can, so that people would get along with each other and not be separated by their race (the color of their skin). This is why "determination" would be a good motive for Sam and how other character's from the story help to figure it out.

Make your conclusion on the evidence that you made to make your motive

Once you put all of your steps together: your questions to the story, the authors choice of words and other characters roles to the story , you should now create your conclusion on what you have learned. In the chapter about Sam, determination seems to be the motive throughout the entire story. Between the beginning of the story to the very end Sam was motivated by the same characteristic, "determination". This is because throughout the chapter all that Sam wanted to do was bring his community together with the help of the vacant lot which has now become a "garden." He wanted people to realize that there is more to a peaceful community than to judge people by their skin color or where they lived before they came to "Cleveland."