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.
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
Attitude in the field of literature, also referred to as tone, is the way in which authors approach subjects and situations. As with other aspects of communication, the tone that authors use can cover a variety of emotions. Some authors change tone throughout the length of their works to emphasize various character roles while others maintain a dominant tone from cover to cover.Full Answer >
Colonial literature is the body of creative work produced by the early American colonists. These works include the personal, emotional poetry of Anne Bradstreet, the jeremiads produced by preachers like Increase Mather and Jonathan Edwards, and the popular Indian captivity narratives.Full Answer >
Students should study literature to gain knowledge of the traditions and cultures associated with the time period in which the literature was produced. In addition, exposure to literature can improve a student's comprehension and reading abilities and help them to identify literary devices, such as the concepts of rhythm and beats within writing.Full Answer >
Literature is important for many reasons, including its ability to provide pleasure to readers, to help build experience, to help readers empathize with others and to develop thinking skills. While literature's educational importance is often downplayed in favor of business and technical education, the study of books offers many positive benefits to readers.Full Answer >