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Teacher Tips and Answers

Revising Character Analyses

After you have completed a first draft of your analysis, set it aside awhile before you begin revising. Once you get some distance from it, you'll be able to see it with fresh eyes. Then look for opportunities to improve your draft. The following activities will assist you.

Revising to Connect Characters to Themes

An effective character analysis should show how the words and actions of the characters demonstrate larger themes. Often themes express life lessons, social or cultural realities, or moral dilemmas. Answering critical questions about the character can help you identify themes:

  1. Why is this character so interesting?

    Ghost is interesting because he tries to outrun his past, but doing so leads to bad decisions in his present.

  2. What is the most critical moment for this character?

    On the day he's supposed to get his uniform, his coach finds out he stole the track shoes.

  3. If this character could do one thing over, what would it be?

    He would have asked his mom or coach to help him get a pair of track shoes for the season.

  4. What emotion best defines this character?

    Ghost experiences many emotions, but the two that pop up the most are anger and resentment. He doesn't feel comfortable with himself until he lets others into his life.

  5. What can you learn from the character?

This lesson is a part of the Writing Character Analyses unit.

Click the title to view more information about this unit and a full list of lessons that are included.

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