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Character Analysis Essay on To Kill A Mockingbird

 

Writing Prompt:  Write a 5 paragraph character analysis on one of the characters from To Kill A Mockingbird.  Be sure to include a thesis statement, three traits or qualities the character possesses, and how these qualities are evident in your introductory paragraph.  Be sure the body of your essay (paragraphs 2, 3, and 4) contains a topic sentence, supporting sentences for you topic sentence, a short passage from the novel that shows your topic.  Your conclusion must re-state your thesis, remind the reader of the three qualities the character possesses, and briefly remind the reader of how these three qualities are shown.

 

Sample Character Analysis Paragraph Forms

Paragraph 1:

           

            _______________________ is an interesting character in the ___________________  ___________________.  He/She displays several qualities which make him/her an interesting character.  _____________________________ is ___________________.  This is evident when _________________________________________.  ____________________ is also __________________________.  We witness this when ________________________.  Lastly, _____________________ is _______________________________.  The author shows this when ___________________________.  This essay will show that ___________________ possesses the three qualities just mentioned.  This essay will also show how the events/examples just mentioned show unique qualities.

 

Paragraph 2, 3, & 4:

 

            ______________________________ is ______________________.  In the novel/short story we see this when ___________________________________.  This shows that ________________ is ______________________ because ____________________________________.  Furthermore, when __________________________

____________________________________, this also shows that ________________ is________________________.  This shows that __________________ is _________ because ____________________________________.  From these events we see that _______________________ is ____________________.

 

Paragraph 5:

 

            ___________________ is (Quality #1), (Quality #2), (Quality #3).  When__(example/event)_______________,  we see ________(character)____’s  _____(Quality #1)_____    When_(example/event)______________ , we witness  ________(character)____’s  ___(Quality #2)_________.  Lastly, when ___________(example/event)_______, we experience __(character)____’s ______(Quality #3)___________ .    __________________________ is truly an interesting character.

 

Sample Character Analysis Essay

 

Paragraph #1

 

            Jerry is an interesting character in the short story “A Mother in Manville.”  He displays several qualities that make him an interesting character.  Jerry is lonely.  This is evident when Jerry takes such good care of the narrator’s dog and when Jerry spends so much time at the narrator’s cabin chopping wood.  Jerry is also a hard worker.  We witness this when the narrator thinks Jerry is too ‘small’ to chop wood, but after Jerry finishes the first day, he has chopped as much as a “man.”  Lastly, Jerry is considerate.  The author shows this when the narrator mentions that Jerry takes extra-special care to find a place inside the cabin to store some wood so that the narrator will always have dry materials with which to start a fire.  This essay will show that Jerry possesses the three qualities just mentioned.  This essay will show how the events and examples just mentioned show Jerry’s unique qualities.

 

Paragraph #2

 

            Jerry is lonely.  In the short story we see this when Jerry takes such good care of the narrator’s dog.  This shows that Jerry is lonely because a dog is a symbol of companionship.  A dog is called “man’s best friend” because it is faithful and generally forgets and forgives quickly.  When the narrator is late getting back from a trip, Jerry takes care of the dog as if it were his own.  Jerry shows us that he longs for companionship, and his careful attention to the dog’s needs show how desperate he is for a friend.  Furthermore, when Jerry spends so much time at the narrator’s cabin chopping wood, this also shows that Jerry is lonely because we can infer that Jerry wants to be around the narrator.  The narrator is a woman.  She lives in a small cabin or cottage, and she has a dog.  Jerry, being an orphan, must see this place as a “home,” which consists of a “mother,” the narrator, a “pet,” the dog, and a “home,” this quaint cabin in the woods.  This place must, in some way, fill a void in Jerry’s life.  That void is his loneliness, and that loneliness comes from having no family.  From these events we see that Jerry is lonely.

 

Paragraph #3

 

            Jerry is a hard worker.  In the short story we see this when the narrator thinks Jerry is too “small” to do a good job chopping wood.  The narrator says that she “visualized mangled and inadequate branches for [her] fires,” which shows her doubts about Jerry’s ability to chop wood.  When Jerry completes his task for that day and leads the narrator behind the cabin to view the wood he has chopped, the narrator, astonished, says, “But you’ve done as much as a man. . .This is splendid.”  This shows that although he is small, Jerry works hard to overcome his size, and, inevitably, his hard work is evident to the narrator.  Furthermore, when Jerry agrees to return the following day to chop more wood, this shows a strong work-ethic.  Jerry tells the narrator, “I’ll split kindling tomorrow. . .You’ll need kindling and medium wood and logs and backlogs.”  Jerry already plans his next day of work, indicative of one who has forethought about tasks and goal-setting, two important components of someone with a great work-ethic.  From these examples we see that Jerry is a hard worker.

 

Paragraph #4

 

            Jerry is considerate.  In the short story we see this when Jerry takes extra-special care to find a place inside the cabin to store dry wood so that the narrator will always have dry materials with which to start a fire.  The narrator says, “he did for me the unnecessary thing, the gracious thing, that we find done only by the great of heart. . .He found a cubbyhole beside the fireplace. . .so that I might always have dry fire material.”  Jerry does something “unnecessary,” which means he does it of his own free will.  He cares for someone else’s needs, even when he will not get anything out of it.  He is “gracious,” almost thankful or joyful to serve someone else.  He is one of the “great of heart.”  In other words, he is caring, loving, willing to put others’ needs before his own selfish concerns.  Furthermore, when the orphanage attendant says, “It’s not like him; he’s usually reliable,” after Jerry fails to fire the boiler, this also shows that most of the time Jerry does his duties.  Although Jerry is not perfect, he does seem to possess an attitude of taking care of and thinking about others first.  From these events we see that Jerry is considerate.

 

Paragraph #5

 

            Jerry is lonely, a hard worker, and considerate.  When Jerry cares for the narrator’s dog and spends much of his time at the narrator’s cabin, we see Jerry’s loneliness.  When Jerry chops as much wood as a “man” and he agrees to return the next day to chop wood with a goal in mind, we witness Jerry’s strong work ethic.  Lastly, when Jerry places dry wood next to the fire inside the cabin and is called “usually reliable” by the orphanage attendant, we experience Jerry’s consideration of others.  Jerry is truly a dynamic and interesting character.

 

 

 

 

 

Character Analysis Quality and Event/Example Chart

 

Character’s Quality                                       Events/Examples Statement (pg. #)             

 

 

1.                                                                                                                                            

 

 

 

2.                                                                                                                                            

 

 

 

3.                                                                                                                                            

 

 

 

4.                                                                                                                                            

 

 

 

5.