Response to Literature
October 9, 2012
Childish, Warm-Hearted and Religious
The method of concluding traits about a character is known as characterization, and it is when an author lets readers know any kind of information regarding the characters in a story. The two types of characterization are direct and indirect. Direct characterization occurs when an author directly states a trait of a character. Indirect, on the other hand, is used when the author shows a character's trait through their actions, thoughts and speech, appearance, or that of another character. Truman Capote's short story "A Christmas Memory", is about a young boy, referred to as "Buddy," and his best friend, or older cousin, who is unnamed in the story. As a tradition, the two friends bake fruitcakes and send the baked goods to acquaintances they have met only once or twice, and to people they have never met at all. They live in a house with other relatives, who are authoritative and stern, and have a dog named Queenie. As the two try to make the best of their Christmas, complications occur and Buddy is sent off to military school, thus making it their last Christmas together. Buddy's friend would be characterized as: childish, kind, and religious. One of Buddy’s friend’s many traits is acting like a child. The narrator states so himself. “The other buddy died when she was still a child. She is still a child” (Capote 52). Through direct characterization, the author writes that Buddy’s friend is still a child even though she is a full grown adult. So therefore, she must act like one. Buddy’s friend also cries, despite her old age. “My friend gazes at her shoes, her chin quivers, she lifts her skirt and blows her nose and runs to her room . . . I beg, teasing her toes, tickling her feet, “[Y]ou’re too old for that” (Capote 56). This woman is sixty-something years old, yet she cries as if she was a four-year-old because the other elders in the house...
Cited: Capote, Truman. “A Christmas Memory.” Literature and Language Arts Third Course. Ed.
Kathleen Daniel and Mescal Evler. Austin: Holt, 2003. 51-60.
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