How To Write a Character Analysis

In many stories, characters are often representative of what the story is trying to convey. Because of this, it is important that you are able to analyze characters, as you may have assignments or essay questions that ask you to do this very thing. When analyzing a character, it is important to look at the following aspects: Physical traits, such as hair color, clothing, and height; Thoughts, Feelings, and Attitudes; as well as Motivations, or reasons for behaving in a particular manner.

Character Analysis

Character Analysis

When analyzing a character, you should look at the character’s: physical traits; thoughts, feelings, and attitudes; and motivations. A character’s physical traits could include their eye and hair color, their height, or weight, or their clothing.

These are just a few examples, you could think of a lot more things to physically describe that character, but their physical traits are important when you’re analyzing the character. Something else to look at are the character’s thoughts, feelings, and attitudes.

This is the character’s ideas about a certain topic or ideas about a certain character. Whenever you’re reading, if you know that a character really doesn’t like another character then you may start to feel the same way, or you might have to ask yourself why that character feels that way in the first place.

Or if a character really hates school, for instance, if it’s a child—if it’s a story that’s written from a child’s point of view—so you’re hearing that a child’s ideas about school are that, “School is real bad. They don’t like going,” then you may have to investigate why they feel that way about it, but the character’s thoughts, feelings, and attitudes are going to be important to you understanding that character as a whole.

The last thing you want to look at are a character’s motivations and their motivations are their reasons for behaving a certain way. That’s kind of what we talked about up here, once you know the character’s ideas or feelings about a certain topic or character you want to find out the reasons for that, or the reasons for why they are behaving in a certain way.

An example we’re going to look at is a mystery novel. Your main character in a mystery novel may be a detective. That detective that may pretend to be a doctor to find out certain information from a suspect, because he wants to know if that suspect is guilty or not.

Knowing the motivation for that main character to be deceitful, to lie, about his profession you know that he is doing that to find out the truth from this suspect. He’s not doing it just because he’s trying to be deceitful or he’s a bad person.

He’s doing it because his job is a detective, and as a detective he sometimes has to be a little sneaky to find out the answers he wants to know. Whenever you are analyzing a character make sure you focus on checking out their character traits: their physical character traits; their thoughts, feelings, and attitudes towards certain topics and certain characters; and their motivations or reasons for doing certain things.



by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: August 14, 2019