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That Pesky Character Analysis Essay

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For students who love literature and love analyzing all facets of a literary work, the character analysis essay can be exciting and a bit fun. For the majority of students who are enrolled in a lit course because it is required, however, it can be hell.

If you are one of that “majority,” here are some tips that may provide the help you need. And if these are not helpful enough, you can find help from an essay writing service with a good reputation.

  1. Choosing the Character to Analyze

You may be thinking that the main character will be the easiest to analyze. After all, s/he does the most in the tale. Here is the problem with that:

Everyone else has the same thought. And there are some in your class who are really “into” character analysis. Your essay will be compared to theirs, and it will come up “short.” If you really want to stick with the main character, find a top essay writing service and get a literature writer who can help you.

  1. The Three Elements of a Character Analysis

In high school., a character analysis was pretty simplistic. The character was physically described and his/her personality was then explained, perhaps with some examples from the novel to “prove” that person. College level analyses are more complex, and should include 3 elements:

  • Character Type

You will hear such terms as protagonist, antagonist, dynamic or static (they change or they don’t), stereotypical (they represent a universal type, such as, a crazy uncle, power-hungry monster, flaky, etc.), round or flat (two or more facets to personality or a single facet), foil (traits that are the exact opposite of the protagonist), and more.

There are also heroes in literature – not necessarily those that “save the day.” They can be tragic (Macbeth), anti- (Jay Gatsby), or romantic (Rhet Butler).

If you are unfamiliar with these terms or just frankly don’t care, you are better off finding the best essay help you can, so that someone who does care can help you out.

  • The Character Description

The first thought that may come to mind is the physical description. Actually, this is only important if the physical characteristics are germane to the character. Ahab, in Moby Dick, for example, needs a physical description – after all, he lost a leg to the whale he now chases.

The rest of the description will relate to the character type and how the author discloses the type. You will need to draw details from the work in order to fully describe, for example, how a character changes, if he happens to be “dynamic.”

Often, you will need to include details related to what motivates a character to behave as s/he does. What, for example, motivated Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind? What motivated Brutus in Julius Caesar?

One of the worst situations you can find yourself in is writing a character analysis and having only given the work a cursory reading. Now the essay is due and you are scrambling for something to say. You can even try Cliff’s Notes, but understand that many other students have the same thought. Your essay will “sound” like so many others.

In these circumstances, better to find the best essay writing service you can and turn the assignment over to one who is intimately familiar with the work and the character you have chosen.

  • How the Character Relates to the Conflict(s)

If you have studied anything about the conflict in literature, you know there are the typical types – man v. man, man v. nature, man v. himself, man v. supernatural, man v. society, and so forth.

To show how your character fits in, you will have to first understand the conflict(s) in the novel, and then analyze the character’s role in those conflicts. Does s/he raise the level of conflict or diffuse it? Does s/he thwart the protagonists’ efforts to resolve the conflict or assist them?

An Important Final Consideration

Every character is placed in a story for a reason. You have to think about why your character is there – this will give you much better insight as you craft your analysis.

When You are Facing urgency or Just Don’t Care

Unless you plan to make literature a major factor in your ultimate career, you probably are not too excited about the essays you must write for a lit class. That’s okay. But you do need to get decent grades in all your courses to keep that GPA up.