How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

Character

These are the terms for Mrs. Dunlap's Elements of Literature Test. Be familiar with the definitions. Good Luck.
STUDY
PLAY
Character
A person or animal in literary work.
Protagonist
The main character in a work of literature. The protagonist is involved in the work's central conflict. He/she may or may not be human.
Antagonist
The character or force that creates conflict for the protagonist.
Static
A character that doesn't change through the course of the story.
Dynamic
A character that changes throughout the course of the story.
Conflict
The struggle between opposing forces or characters.
Internal Conflict
The struggle within the character (needs, desires, emotions)
External Conflict
The struggle with another character, society, nature, or supernatural.
Characterization
The way the writer reveals the personality of the character.
Direct Characterization
The author clearly states what the character is like.
Indirect Characterization
The author reveals what the character is like through inferences.
Flat
A character that has only two traits, which can be described in one or two words.
Round
A character who, like a real person, has many different traits, some are admirable, and some are not. The reader can see many different sides
Appearance
Focus on physical descriptions that reveal internal character.
Action
Consider that actions often tell more than words.
Character's Words
Watch for tone, dialect, and language to learn about the character.
Others' Reactions
The reader must determine if others' reactions accurately portray the character.
Character's Thoughts or Feelings
Sometimes feelings are obvious other times feelings might be implied.
Point Of View
The vantage point from which a story is told.
Omniscient
The narrator knows everything including the thoughts of the multiple characters.
Third Person Limited
Narrator focuses on the thoughts and feelings of only one character.
First Person
The narrator is one of the characters; uses the pronoun "I" to tell the story (Usually the protagonist)
Motivation
The reason a character behaves a certain way or performs an action that appears uncharacteristic.
Inferences
Conclusions based on information in the text and what we know, often reveals character.
Plausibility(Believeability)
The term that clarifies how believable the character is. Characters that are too good or too bad may lack plausibility.