Analyzing Characters Practice Exercises
Read the following study guide for a concept review:
Here is an excerpt from Robert Louis Stevenson's pirate adventure novel Treasure Island. As you read it twice, look carefully for character clues to help you answer the questions that follow the excerpt.
From Treasure Island
As I was waiting, a man came out of a side room, and at a glance I was sure he must be Long John [Silver]. His left leg was cut off close by the hip, and under the left shoulder he carried a crutch, which he managed with wonderful dexterity, hopping about upon it like a bird. He was very tall and strong, with a face as big as a ham—plain and pale, but intelligent and smiling. Indeed, he seemed in the most cheerful spirits, whistling as he moved about among the tables, with a merry word or a slap on the shoulder for the more favored of his guests.
Now, to tell you the truth, from the very first mention of Long John in Squire Trelawney's letter, I had taken a fear in my mind that he might prove to be the very one-legged sailor whom I had watched for so long at the old Benbow. But one look at the man before me was enough. I had seen the captain, and Black Dog, and the blind man Pew, and I thought I knew what a buccaneer* was like—a very different creature, according to me, from this clean and pleasant-tempered landlord.
*buccaneer = pirate
- What is Long John Silver's most striking physical characteristic?
- He has a broad, smiling face.
- He hops like a bird.
- He has one leg.
- He looks like a buccaneer.
- What makes the narrator think that Long John is pleasant-tempered?
- He is talking cheerfully with the other people in the room.
- He has a plain, intelligent face.
- The narrator read in a letter that he is pleasant-tempered.
- The narrator believes that all buccaneers are pleasant-tempered.
- The narrator is surprised at Long John's character. What sort of person was the narrator probably expecting?
- Strong and evil
- Dirty and corrupt
- Kind and motherly
- Weak and fearful
One way to organize what you know about a character is to use a character map. This is a type of graphic organizer that shows some details and important traits of a character. There are many different ways to arrange a character map, but when you analyze a fictional character, you can draw your own map to include the most important information. Practice using the character map shown here, then create your own map for one of your favorite characters.
To practice, complete the following character map for Harry Potter (if you don't know much about Harry Potter, choose a different character that you are more familiar with).
Here is a sample character map for Harry Potter. You might have included slightly different details, but check to see that you included the correct type of information in each box.
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