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English 10: Class Notes  October 5, 2001

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In this week's class, students worked together in a writing workshop called, "A Real Character: Exercise in Description."

This week, many of you had good, concrete information to share on how we define and describe a person's character. Remember: When you read the story, "The Father," pay special attention to what is revealed about the characters through indirect characterization (dialogue and action, particularly).

The class, and teacher, shared some interesting examples describing a person's character. Find these listed below.

Teacher Example:


He was an enormous man, so fat that the buttons on his shirt seemed ready to burst at any second. His face was always red with the exertion of teaching his subject, history.


If no one in the class could answer his question, he would point his finger at all of us, sweeping the room with his eyes, and proclaim, “Vast ignorance. Vast ignorance.”


Before the scholarship exams held that year, my teacher made sure that students who had studied with him in the fall semester were ready for the test. Each day a group of us met in his classroom to be drilled on what we needed to know, since we had last studied with him more than five months before.

Student Examples:


Most of the time, she was busy with her child. When we were her guests, often she was showering with the child, or with the child. Or, she was cooking for the child, and putting the child to sleep.

(poor management of time; inhospitable; neurotic; insecure; overbearing)


But he sometimes forgot promises. Once, he decided to do business. I asked him, “What will your first step be in business?” He said to me, “I will never promise more than I can perform.” It’s great, I thought. Three months later, I asked him to help me in business. “No problem!” he said. I reminded him about his promise two weeks later. “Don’t worry!” he said, “I cannot keep all my promises. The only thing I can do is try my best.”

(undependable; insincere)


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