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How to Write a Character Analysis

Writing a character analysis can be tricky but following the five steps below will help.


Step 1: Choose a Character


First, choose a character from the book you want to analyze. Let's choose Wilbur the pig from "Charlotte's Web."


Step 2: Gather Information


Next, gather information about the character you chose. Think about what the character is like and what they do in the story. You can read the book or ask someone to tell you about the character.

For Wilbur, we might gather the following information:

  • Personality: kind, curious, friendly

  • Motivations: to stay alive and make friends

  • Actions: talks to the other animals, tries to escape from the barn, gets sad when he thinks he will be killed

  • Relationships: becomes good friends with Charlotte the spider

Step 3: Analyze the Character's Traits


Now it's time to analyze the character's traits. This means looking closely at what makes the character who they are. Think about what the character does, says, and thinks. Use examples from the book to support your analysis.

For Wilbur, we might analyze the following traits:

  • Kindness: Wilbur is kind to all the animals he meets, including the other farm animals and Charlotte the spider.

  • Curiosity: Wilbur is always asking questions and trying to learn new things about the world around him.

  • Friendliness: Wilbur is friendly to all the animals, even when they are mean to him.

  • Fearfulness: Wilbur gets scared when he thinks he will be killed, and needs Charlotte's help to save him.

Step 4: Consider the Character's Role in the Story


Think about what the character does in the story and how they contribute to the plot. This means looking at the character's actions and relationships with other characters.

For Wilbur, we might consider the following:

  • Contribution to the plot: Wilbur is the main character and his journey to stay alive and make friends is central to the story.

  • Interactions with other characters: Wilbur becomes good friends with Charlotte the spider, and also interacts with the other farm animals and humans who take care of him.

  • Changes over the course of the story: Wilbur grows and changes throughout the story, becoming more confident and brave as he faces challenges.

Step 5: Write the Character Analysis


Finally, it's time to write your character analysis. Start by introducing the character and providing some background information. Then, move on to your analysis of the character's traits and role in the story. Use examples from the book to support your analysis.


For Wilbur, a sample character analysis might look something like this:


Introduction: Wilbur is the main character in the book "Charlotte's Web." He is a friendly and curious pig who is trying to stay alive and make friends.


Analysis of traits: Wilbur has several important traits that make him a lovable character. He is kind to all the animals he meets, even when they are mean to him. He is always asking questions and trying to learn new things, which shows that he is curious about the world. Wilbur is also very friendly, and he makes friends easily. However, he gets scared when he thinks he will be killed, and he needs Charlotte's help to save him.


Role in the story: Wilbur is the main character, and his journey to stay alive and make friends is the central focus of the book. He becomes good friends with Charlotte the spider, and also interacts with the other farm animals and humans who take care of him. As the story progresses, Wilbur grows and becomes more confident and brave, which helps him face the challenges that come his way.


Message of the book: Through the character of Wilbur, the author is trying to show that kindness, friendship, and perseverance can help us overcome difficult situations. Wilbur's journey to stay alive and make friends teaches us the importance of being kind and open to others, even when they are different from us. Overall, the message of the book is that we can achieve great things if we believe in ourselves and the power of friendship.


Students in the IEW SSS2B class practice writing a character analysis at the end of the year during the critique writing unit. For more information about that class, feel free to contact Mrs. Brown or click this link.


Happy Writing,


Mrs. Brown

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