Essay on Characterization As A Literary Element Of Art

Essay on Characterization As A Literary Element Of Art

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Characterization is considered to be a literary element of art. Analyzing characterization is the key to finding a fiction story theme. Characterization is made known through direct and indirect characterization. Direct characterization tells the personality or traits of the character, while indirect characterization presents the character by their actions. Alice Walker “Everyday Use” is a short story that reveals the theme through characterization. This technique is used by exposing the characters values, heritage, and insecurities. The literary subgenre of “Everyday Use” is realistic fiction. This story focuses its writing and plot around the values of a rural family. Walker’ story is about two sisters and a mother who live in a rural section of Georgia. The mother has worked hard all her life to provide for her daughters. The oldest daughter has always hated where she came from. She wanted a way out of the poverty and the environment she lived in. The daughter pursued an education and a college career and found her way into a different social class. In the midst of her pursuing her goals she went through an identity change, and changed her name to keep up with her African heritage. One day, she decides to visit her mother and her sister. Before she left she went through her mother’s trunk and started searching for valuable items. The daughter finds two pairs of quilts tell the great significance those quilts have because they had been quilted by her grandmother, her aunt, and her mother. In the end of the story she tells her mother she wants them, but not the one with any machine stitching. The mother finds out her daughter only wants the quilts for display and not for bedding as they are meant to be used for. She decides to gi...


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...he pieces, like those lavender ones, come from old clothes, her mother handed them down to her “ Mama explains to her daughter (Walker 98). Mama’s concern for her traditions and heritage show that she honors them in a very special way despite of Dee’s direct view of her mother appreciation for culture.
In conclusion, Alice walker “Everyday Use” is a short story that reveals the literary element of characterization. By using actions, descriptions, and characteristics she reveals to the reader how a character can be made known these traits. It is important to analyze each and every detail to know how to tell the difference between direct indirect characters. This literary element makes the reader dissect every character in order to understand their position throughout the story. This story shows the reader the different views on how people embrace culture and heritage.

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