In the previous activity on characterization (Characterization 1), we asked ourselves how writers develop a character through dialogue, action and narration. Rather than focusing on how writers construct characters, we will ask ourselves in this lesson: “How do readers respond to characters?” We all seem to have an opinion about characters in literary works. How do we justify our responses to these characters?
In this lesson we will focus on a passage from Untouchable by Mulk Raj Anand. You see several adjectives that could be used to describe the main character. You can agree or disagree with these statements, justifying your answer with reference to the text. This kind of activity can be applied to any work that you are exploring for Parts 3 or 4. Furthermore it helps us explore a work in detail, which is the first learning outcome for Part 4.
Below you see a list of adjectives that may or may not describe the character, Bakhu. Bakhu belongs to a group of people in India known as the ‘untouchables’. The are considered so dirty that they fall outside of the caste system. Read the passage and state why you agree or disagree with the adjectives as appropriate character descriptions. You can print out this worksheet (PDF) to do this activity in class. Or you can create your own worksheet by using the template in MS Word below.