Students are usually assigned a literature analysis essay for literature or English courses. This kind of essay requires students to provide an in-depth analysis of a particular character in the context of the story. This can be achieved by analyzing the relationship between a particular character and other characters in the story.
What Is a Character Analysis Essay?
A character analysis essay is used to explain the traits and characteristics of a certain character on a deeper level. The main goal of a character analysis essay is to make the reader understand who the character really is and the role they play in the story. Writing a character analysis essay can be challenging since it requires the application of critical thinking skills as well as giving personal opinions and preferences. A character analysis essay usually involves analyzing the character’s relationship with others, his/her behaviour, manner of speaking, physical appearance, and many other characteristics.
Different Types of Characters
There are several types of characters based on their behaviours, traits, and roles within a story. The following are the different types of characters:
- Protagonist(s) (heroes):The main character around whom most of the story progresses.
- Antagonist(s): This is the person that plays the opposition role towards the protagonist. This is usually the villain, but could also be a natural power, set of circumstances, majestic being, etc.
- Minor: These are the characters that develop the major character’s story by allowing them interact and reveal their personalities, situations, and/or stories. They can also be a protagonist, antagonist. They can also be dynamic, static, or foil.
- Dynamic: someone who changes as the story progresses. Most times, the main character is dynamic.
- Static: this is someone who does not change throughout the story.
- Foils: These are the characters that draw attention to the main character(s).
How Do You Start a Character Analysis Essay?
Before writing a character analysis essay, you should first select a particular character you would like to write about. In case you have not been assigned a specific character, you can go for a character that pays a dynamic role in the story. This will enable you to generate tons of information about the character that will attract the reader’s attention.
- Read and understand the Story
Even though you have already read the book, it’s essential to read it again in order to focus on a particular character you have chosen. Re-reading the story again will enable you to be more precise with the scenes that directly relate to your character. This will help you in creating an effective analysis of your character. It’s also essential to pay attention to every tiny detail to make sure you fully understand your character’s traits.
2. Choose a Dynamic Character
A dynamic character is one that undergoes a lot of changes and has grown throughout the story. Since a dynamic character is not boring or static, it will enable you to come up with an interesting and engaging paper for your readers. A static character will not be very involved in the story and may end up making your paper monotonous or boring.
3. Take Notes
While you are reading, it’s important that you highlight all the critical elements of the story. This will enable you to gather adequate information about your character. Provide vivid and specific examples that will help your readers connect and relate with your character. Finally, formulate the main idea about your character.
4. Choose a Main Idea
When writing a character analysis, ensure you focus on the main idea that most relates to your character and find patterns. This will form the basis of your thesis. It’s also essential to support this idea with the most relevant examples and situations associated with your character.
5. Create an Outline
Before writing your literary analysis essay, its important to first create an outline that will help you to develop a logical, reasonable structure for your paper. A well-constructed character analysis outline will keep your thoughts and ideas organized. Once you have a concrete framework, you will be able to create and structure a well-developed, captivating, and engaging essay.
The introduction is the first step to writing a character analysis essay. Your introduction should capture the readers’ attention by posing a question, pulling out an interesting fact, or creating a mystery that will make the readers want to continue reading.
The introduction should be brief at the same time relevant. Ensure to include a short description of the character in question.
The purpose of the body in an essay is to develop the thesis or argument outlined in the introduction fully. Each paragraph in the body discusses one major point in the development of the main claim regarding the character. Your body should address the following key points:
- The character’s physical appearance, personality, and background.
- The experiences the character goes through and how did he/she overcome them.
- Lessons learnt from the character.
- The character’s actions
- The motivation behind the characters actions.
- The words used by or associated with the character.
This is probably the most important part of a character analysis essay. It should sum up your ideas and form the basis of a final analysis statement. Mention things about the character’s experiences that we could encounter in real life. Additionally, you can include an opinion on how you think character should’ve reacted to a particular situation.