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Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Importance of Character Traits

In my Children's Literature class, we discussed
the importance of Harry Potter's decisions as they
define his character. These important decisions
ultimately decide who Harry is as a character and
how his decisions impact the person he believes he
is, versus the person he actually is. We were also
asked which house in Hogwarts that we belonged in.
We had to make this decision based on the strongest
character trait we believed we had. For me, this was a
tough decision. I don't believe in labels, but I find it
interesting that your most powerful character trait is one
you know right away. I feel like your most powerful
character trait may take a long time to realize. During
the making of both novels and screenplays, the character must
be defined through powerfull actions and difficult decisions. In a
sense, the way we decide the definition of a character is the way
we learn to define ourselves. Harry's decision to be a Gryffindor
determines who he is throughout his story. Strong and obvious
character traits are the elements that define a character. This is
also the way we define other peoples' personalities and how we
define ourselves. The sorting hat functions as a self consciousness
that can only be developed over time. The most powerful characteristics
that we have can only be revealed when we are honest about who we
are. This is not always easy to do, and becomes an internal conflict for
Harry. He questions this decision for awhile because it is a very defining
moment. It may take years for someone to learn this about who they are,
but it is this internal struggle that makes a character relatable to the reader.
If the character must find who they are, it is more comforting to understand
that everyone must go on this journey, or avoid it. It is a powerfull and
important choice.

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