Washington Irving uses both direct and indirect characterization to portray the personality traits of Tom Walker in the short story "The Devil and Tom Walker." In the second paragraph Irving comes right out and says that Tom was "meager and miserly." By "miserly," Irving means that Tom was simply greedy, which may be his most prominent character trait. In an example of indirect characterization, Irving writes that Tom's house was miserable and starved because he...

Tom is also grimly determined and eager. After his wife disappears Tom is dedicated to finding the "black woodsman" and making a deal with him. Irving writes,

He sought, therefore, to cultivate a further acquaintance with him, but for some time without success; the old blacklegs played shy, for whatever people may think, he is not always to be had for calling for; he knows how to play his cards when pretty sure of his game.

Washington Irving uses both direct and indirect characterization to portray the personality traits of Tom Walker in the short story "The Devil and Tom Walker." In the second paragraph Irving comes right out and says that Tom was "meager and miserly." By "miserly," Irving means that Tom was simply greedy, which may be his most prominent character trait. In an example of indirect characterization, Irving writes that Tom's house was miserable and starved because he...

Tom is also grimly determined and eager. After his wife disappears Tom is dedicated to finding the "black woodsman" and making a deal with him. Irving writes,

He sought, therefore, to cultivate a further acquaintance with him, but for some time without success; the old blacklegs played shy, for whatever people may think, he is not always to be had for calling for; he knows how to play his cards when pretty sure of his game.

The narrator of the novel, most likely based on Jerome himself. J. has a dog named Montmorency, and two friends, George and Harris. He sees himself as intelligent, hard-working, and competent, but his behavior in the novel suggests otherwise. Like his friends, J. is a hypochondriac.

A good-natured banker, and one of J.'s best friends. Of the three men, he is portrayed as the only one who is seriously dedicated to his job. He brings a banjo on the boat trip and tries to learn how to play it.

A friend of George and J., who joins them on the trip. Although the novel's flashbacks suggest that J. and Harris (full name William Samuel Harris) have known each other for a long time, J. actually dislikes Harris a great deal. He constantly criticizes Harris for being lazy and uncultured, and writes that "there is no poetry about Harris – no wild yearning for the unattainable" (18).

Washington Irving uses both direct and indirect characterization to portray the personality traits of Tom Walker in the short story "The Devil and Tom Walker." In the second paragraph Irving comes right out and says that Tom was "meager and miserly." By "miserly," Irving means that Tom was simply greedy, which may be his most prominent character trait. In an example of indirect characterization, Irving writes that Tom's house was miserable and starved because he...

Tom is also grimly determined and eager. After his wife disappears Tom is dedicated to finding the "black woodsman" and making a deal with him. Irving writes,

He sought, therefore, to cultivate a further acquaintance with him, but for some time without success; the old blacklegs played shy, for whatever people may think, he is not always to be had for calling for; he knows how to play his cards when pretty sure of his game.

The narrator of the novel, most likely based on Jerome himself. J. has a dog named Montmorency, and two friends, George and Harris. He sees himself as intelligent, hard-working, and competent, but his behavior in the novel suggests otherwise. Like his friends, J. is a hypochondriac.

A good-natured banker, and one of J.'s best friends. Of the three men, he is portrayed as the only one who is seriously dedicated to his job. He brings a banjo on the boat trip and tries to learn how to play it.

A friend of George and J., who joins them on the trip. Although the novel's flashbacks suggest that J. and Harris (full name William Samuel Harris) have known each other for a long time, J. actually dislikes Harris a great deal. He constantly criticizes Harris for being lazy and uncultured, and writes that "there is no poetry about Harris – no wild yearning for the unattainable" (18).

Three-Face suffers from multiple personality disorder. Its physical manifestation is his face split in  two radically different halves. A third face has grown at the top of his head.He bases his decisions on the flip of a coin. He has two villainous personalities and one benevolent one. The latter is typically outvoted and told to shut up.
 
With most Dorkham Asylum patients being parodies of Batman villains, Three-Face is rather obviously based on Two-Face. His flipping a coin however is also reminiscent of the "Flip Decision" (February, 1953), a classic Donald Duck story by Carl Barks.

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Washington Irving uses both direct and indirect characterization to portray the personality traits of Tom Walker in the short story "The Devil and Tom Walker." In the second paragraph Irving comes right out and says that Tom was "meager and miserly." By "miserly," Irving means that Tom was simply greedy, which may be his most prominent character trait. In an example of indirect characterization, Irving writes that Tom's house was miserable and starved because he...

Tom is also grimly determined and eager. After his wife disappears Tom is dedicated to finding the "black woodsman" and making a deal with him. Irving writes,

He sought, therefore, to cultivate a further acquaintance with him, but for some time without success; the old blacklegs played shy, for whatever people may think, he is not always to be had for calling for; he knows how to play his cards when pretty sure of his game.

The narrator of the novel, most likely based on Jerome himself. J. has a dog named Montmorency, and two friends, George and Harris. He sees himself as intelligent, hard-working, and competent, but his behavior in the novel suggests otherwise. Like his friends, J. is a hypochondriac.

A good-natured banker, and one of J.'s best friends. Of the three men, he is portrayed as the only one who is seriously dedicated to his job. He brings a banjo on the boat trip and tries to learn how to play it.

A friend of George and J., who joins them on the trip. Although the novel's flashbacks suggest that J. and Harris (full name William Samuel Harris) have known each other for a long time, J. actually dislikes Harris a great deal. He constantly criticizes Harris for being lazy and uncultured, and writes that "there is no poetry about Harris – no wild yearning for the unattainable" (18).

Three-Face suffers from multiple personality disorder. Its physical manifestation is his face split in  two radically different halves. A third face has grown at the top of his head.He bases his decisions on the flip of a coin. He has two villainous personalities and one benevolent one. The latter is typically outvoted and told to shut up.
 
With most Dorkham Asylum patients being parodies of Batman villains, Three-Face is rather obviously based on Two-Face. His flipping a coin however is also reminiscent of the "Flip Decision" (February, 1953), a classic Donald Duck story by Carl Barks.

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.

Because you're new to wiki editing, we sent your submission off to our moderators to check it over. Most changes are approved within a few hours. We'll send an email when it is.

No matter how interesting or innovative your writing might be, a story without three-dimensional characters can quickly fall flat. There are many techniques you can use to add that extra spark to your characters and give them unique qualities that will set them apart from the rest.

Don’t limit your characters to a certain set of behaviors so that your shy character is ALWAYS shy, or your outspoken character is ALWAYS loud. Instead, be open to unexpected character traits. Maybe your straitlaced protagonist dances on tables when he has a few drinks. Or perhaps your bossy heroine gets tongue-tied around her mother. What makes people (and characters) so interesting is how unexpected their behaviors or reactions can be. Ask yourself: Are your characters surprising you with their quirks?

Human beings are naturally conflicted in the emotions department. Why not translate that reality to your characters? Try pairing your character’s strong belief in a particular ideal with some small cloud of doubt that slowly eats away at his or her perspective.

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