Ways of establishing characters

Sarah Holmes
Flashcards by Sarah Holmes, updated more than 1 year ago
Sarah Holmes
Created by Sarah Holmes almost 4 years ago


A set of flashcards designed to help learners understand the difference between characters established through telling and showing. The examples are all C19th century as this resource has been created for learners doing the new 9-1 Edexcel English Language course.

Resource summary

Question Answer
Here is the opening of The Necklace. Is the writer establishing character by showing or telling? e85db528-f6e9-4fde-9a21-86375090e3d5.png (image/png) He establishes Mathilde's character by telling. In doing so he creates he impression of a naive, vain and silly young woman.
If dialogue is being a used, is a writer conveying character by showing or telling? Showing. When a writer conveys characters through showing they will present them speaking and doing without commenting on what they say and do so the reader can form their own impressions.
Mr Gradgrind has set up a 'model school'. What impression do you get of him from this piece of dialogue? 92228fea-8e06-423d-9387-542d4ac3daee.png (image/png) Having set up a 'model school' Mr Gradgrind then appears to be the enemy of knowledge and free-thinking with his insistence on facts. An absence of imagination and creativity make him seem hard and unyielding.
In this extract from Chapter 1 of Pride and Prejudice. Austen uses a combination of showing and telling. How do teh two techniques work together to establish the characters? 13c506f2-c0b6-473e-9949-df6a235c1355.png (image/png) The exchange between Mr & Mrs Bennet is comic and makes it clear that Mr Bennet is indulgent of his wife and daughters. When Austen then switches to telling us about the couple she merely reinforces the impressions we have already formed.
What type of narrator is usually being used when conveying character through telling? Unobtrusive narrator Omniscient narrator Obtrusive omniscient narrator Obtrusive omniscient narrator. An omniscient narrator is one who sees and hears everything their characters do. If the omniscient narrator is obtrusive then they will interject with comments about what their characters are saying and doing to shape the reader's impressions.
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