Throughout the novel, Billy exhibits many positive and admirable characteristics. He would be considered a dynamic character because he has grown and learned so much by the end of the story. Any character who has many sides to his/her personality is a dynamic character; authors create and develop these kinds of character because they are more interesting to read about and more like real people. A dynamic character is not completely wonderful and perfect; he/she should have weaknesses or may fail at some times. As a dynamic character, Billy shows this in at least two moments: involving himself in the fight with the mountain lion shows his impulsivity and his tears show he is overly sensitive/vulnerable at times.
One positive character trait of Billy is his determination, but if I were to write a whole essay on just his determination, I would not be showing Billy as dynamic. Here is a brainstorming example of how I would show Billy as dynamic by giving examples from the novel:
In paragraph 1, I will write an introduction that gives background on what it means to be dynamic, on my character specifically, and on his/her character traits.
In paragraph 2 (my first body paragraph) I will write about how determined he is by explaining the details from the novel when Billy carefully saves $50 for two years to get his two hound puppies and how he trains them.
In paragraph 3 (my second body paragraph) I will write about how his walk through town and his interactions with townspeople show his inexperience (naivity).
In paragraph 4 (my third body paragraph) I will write about how he is brave by explaining what he does to make sure his dogs are safe from the mountain lion.
In paragraph 5, I would explain all that Billy learned through his experience and I will predict how these lessons will help him in life.
You do NOT have to pick Billy as your dynamic character. You will be analyzing Billy or any other character in Where the Red Fern Grows. You must choose a character who is dynamic. Your essay will explain how the character you chose qualifies as dynamic. Here are some reminders about writing literary analysis:
Include a grabber to get the attention of the reader.
You may NOT use "I" or "me" here.
Make sure you write a topic sentence at the beginning of each paragraph.
Use transitions at the beginning and/or end of each paragraph
Be sure to develop your answer using different events/moments from the novel.
*Note: you may NOT write about the three specific examples I have given you because these have been provided for you.
So what steps have we taken and will we take to prepare for this essay? All dates and content are subject to change!
- Finish novel, receive general essay question, and brainstorm possible characters and their traits
- Introduction of the phrase DYNAMIC character
- Practice deciding if characters in literature/film are dynamic or static
- Analyze BIG picture -- plan of attack (getting this paper and reading it all over)
- How to avoid using "I/me/us/we" in literary writing
- Spelling list given out
- How to incorporate quotations into an essay
- Looking at student samples of literary analysis –what is successful and what is not?
Wednesday 12/12: - Graphic organizers put into practice – planning out what you'll write
- What the 5 domains (style, organization, content, conventions, focus) mean in rubrics
- Details and development: "this shows/demonstrates" or "this reveals"
- Spelling quiz AND essay written in class
Introduction paragraph: Introduce the concept of character traits generally; address how they surface and develop in people. Explain the benefits of being a dynamic person (one who changes/grows with time). Give background about the character you are writing about