Choose one character from the novel.
Analyze the character based on the five human attributes (listed below).
What can we learn from this character about how to live in the world? Reading a story is, after all, like watching an experiment. Given a set of characters and circumstances, we sit back and watch the results unfold. The greatest value in fiction, it seems to me, lies in what we can learn about our own lives when we take time to analyze someone else’s — even if that someone else is just a character in a story.
For this particular discussion, use the following as a thesis statement (last sentence of introductory paragraph):
In The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton creates the fictional persona of (insert name of character) to illustrate (insert word(s) or phrase that would descriptively sum up the character).
Use the following framework to guide you in looking at five different collections of human attributes (physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and philosophical) and provide you with some basic questions in each category to get you off to a good start.
HINT: Do not simply answer the questions in your paragraph response; use the attribute questions to provoke thought as you analyze the character and draw real life conclusions.
Physical. What does the character look like? How do the character’s physical attributes play a role in the story? How does the character feel about his or her physical attributes? How does the character change physically during the story? How do these changes affect the character’s experience?
Intellectual. How would you describe this character’s intelligence? What does this character know? How does this character’s intellect compare to others in the story? Is this character smart enough to thrive in the world in which he or she lives? What does this character learn as the story develops?
Emotional. How does this character feel most of the time? How do his or her feelings change throughout the story? How does this character feel about himself or herself? When faced with challenges in the story, what emotions come up for this character?
Social. How does this character get along with other characters in the story? Who does this character choose for friends and why does this character choose them? Where does this character stand in the social order? How does this character’s social standing affect events in the story?
Philosophical. What does this character believe about the way life is? What are these beliefs
based on? How do these beliefs affect the choices this character makes? How do those beliefs change throughout the story? Do others in the story share these beliefs?