“Everyday Use” & Characterization
Reading Quiz! On a clean sheet of notebook paper, answer the following: Part One: Identify each character and explain his/her importance in the story: 1. Maggie 3. Hakin-a-barber 2. Dee The mother Part Two: Answer in complete sentences, explaining your thinking fully. 5. Describe the setting of the story. 6. Explain two different conflicts in the story. 7. Name two physical objects that are important in the story, and explain their importance. 8. What crucial decision does the mother make at the end of the story? Why do you think she makes her choice this way?
Learn about Alice Walker’s childhood
Alice Walker’s writing themes
Characterization (take notes!)
The method used by an author to develop a character. Can be done two different ways: Direct characterization- author directly tells you about the character. Ex: “Esmeralda was the most serious student in school.” Indirect characterization- author reveals character traits in one of five ways.
Indirect Characterization - STEAL
Speech What does the character say? How does the character speak? Thoughts What is reveals through the character’s private thoughts and feelings? Effect on other toward the character What is reveals through the character’s effect on other people? How do other characters feel or behave in reaction to the character? Actions What does the character do? How does the character behave? Looks What does the character look like? How does the character dress?
Flat vs. Round Characters
Flat Characters Like a paper doll, only 2 dimensional Only one or two key personality traits Support to main character Does not undergo any major change or growth Round Characters Has 3 dimensional qualities of real people Lots of traits and complexities Encounters conflict Will change or grow Seem much more realistic; you get to know these characters
Analyze and Discuss What does Mama’s observation that “these old things was just done by me and Big Dee from some tops your grandma pieced before she died,” indicate her character? What traits of Dee’s character emerge when she remarks that Maggie would “probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use”? How does Maggie’s response, “She can have them, Mama…. I can ‘member Grandma Dee without the quilts,” help define Maggie’s character?
Analyze and Discuss cont.
How would you describe Dee’s dialogue? How does it reflect her character traits? In the climactic scene, the narrator expresses herself by rejecting dialogue in favor of action. Why do you think she makes that choice? Do you think Alice Walker’s childhood is reflected in this story? Why or why not?
In groups… Discuss the two sisters in “Everyday Use”. Who do you most relate to? Why? Next, create a STEAL chart like the one shown below. Complete the character using both sisters. (Create two charts.) Type of Indirect Characterization Examples Explanation Speech Thoughts Effect on others Actions Looks
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