Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Learning About Characters

Characters are either major or minor and either static (unchanging) or dynamic (changing). The character who dominates the story is the major character.

Don't be fooled however--you might never even see the story's major character. Is Minnie Wright the major character in "A Jury of Her Peers?" Also, major characters do not have to be dynamic. Emily Grierson doesn't change at all in Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," yet she is the major character.

Readers can learn about characters in many ways, including:

Physical traits
Point of view

There are no limits on the types of characters who can inhabit a story: male or female, rich or poor, young or old, prince or pauper. What is important is that the characters in a story all have the same set of emotions as the reader: happiness, sorrow, disappointment, pain, joy, and love.

As Nathaniel Hawthorne said, "Blessed are all the emotions be they dark or bright." In emotions lie the motivations of the characters who drive the story.

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