Individuals can remember the five basic methods of characterization in literature by using the acronym STEAL, which stands for speech, thoughts, effect, actions and looks. These are the techniques commonly used by writers to reveal a character's personality and nature indirectly.Know More
Direct characterization occurs when an author directly tells the reader something about a character's nature. Indirect characterization reveals a character's nature by showing what he does, what he thinks, what he says and how other characters react to him.
Indirect characterization leaves more to the reader's imagination, and the effect can be ambiguous. If an author tells the reader, "She was an honest girl," the reader has no reason to question the character's honesty. If, on the other hand, the author reveals a character solely through her words and actions, it's up to the reader to draw his own conclusions, as the true motivation behind an action can be uncertain, and words can be deceptive.
Sometimes an author reveals the inner thoughts of a character. This is still regarded as indirect characterization, because thoughts themselves can be ambiguous, and because a character can lie to himself. While ambiguity and uncertainty can be confusing, indirect characterization is preferable in most situations, because it involves the reader in the story at a deeper level by forcing him to draw his own conclusions.Learn More
There are several websites that provide free book notes and chapter summaries including Spark Notes, CliffsNotes and Shmoop. Spark Notes and CliffsNotes provide literary resources, while Shmoop offers help in several subject areas.Full Answer >
"The Devil and Tom Walker," a short story by Washington Irving, tells of a man who sells his soul to the devil, known as Old Scratch, in exchange for great wealth. He becomes a usurer, swindling money from other people, until he is old, and the devil comes on a black horse and carries him away.Full Answer >
The symbols in the short story "Miss Brill" by Katherine Mansfield are Miss Brill's fur, the box that houses the fur, the young woman in the ermine toque and the orchestra. The fur that Miss Brill wears is a symbol of her life and her feelings of inadequacy about it.Full Answer >
The main literary divisions are usually defined by the two central categories of prose and poetry. Both of these branches may be further broken down or stylized into subdivisions such as dramatic verse, prose drama or speech narratives.Full Answer >