Monday, January 31, 2011

Character Analysis

Daily Update
Today you were offered your first experience this semester of reading your own writing aloud in small groups. After introducing yourselves, you took turns reading your response to Michelle Serros' "Senior Picture Day" to a small group of your peers. Hopefully it wasn't too painful, and it enabled you to get a sense of how your peer responded to the reading.

Following a brief large group discussion of "Senior Picture Day," we moved on to a discussion of our focus for the first major essay: Character. We watched a short clip from the show "Modern Family" and discussed attributes of the characters based on what we saw in the clip. This led to a discussion of character "types," which I'll outline briefly below.

At the end of class, I showed you how to access Angel to find your essay assignment. Read the assignment, print it, and bring a copy to class on Wednesday. If you do not know how to access Angel, let me know as soon as possible.

Homework Reminder
You need to read Literature and Composition chapter 3--just pages 45-54, as outlined in your syllabus. Be sure to do the reading! You will be accountable for this reading on Wednesday.


Character "Types": terms and definitions
  • Protagonist: The "hero" of the story; the main character
  • Antagonist: The "anti-hero" of the story; typically a prominent character, but also a set of characters or a situation, idea, or force of some kind
  • Major characters: The character or characters who are central to the plot or main idea/conflict of the story
  • Minor characters: The character or characters who help move the plot along in less dominant ways; the "supporting cast"
  • Dynamic characters: Characters who show growth or change
  • Static characters: Characters who remain the same throughout the plot
  • Foil: A character or situation that serves to enhance or magnify the strengths of the protagonist. For example, a character whose weaknesses magnify the protagonist's strengths (the opposite of the protagonist), or a character who is much like the protagonist, but weaker or less dynamic, whose traits shine a light on or magnify the protagonist's strengths.

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