Character Determines Success!
What Is Character?
What did Abraham Lincoln Have to Say About Character?
Abraham Lincoln said, “Reputation is the shadow. Character is the tree.“
(Learn More About Abraham Lincoln)
What did Winston Churchill Say About Character?
Winston Churchill said, “The first duty of the university is to teach wisdom, not a trade; character, not technicalities.”
(Learn More About Winston Churchill)
What is “Character”? Why is it so important?
Our character is much more than just our reputation. Our reputation is what others to see about us. Our character is who we really are, even when no one is watching. Having “Good Character” means doing the right thing just because it is right to do what is right.
Dictionary Definitions of “Character”
One dictionary defines character as “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.” Another says it is “the complex of mental and ethical traits marking a person.” In still another dictionary, character is said to be “the stable and distinctive qualities built into an individual’s life which determine his or her response regardless of circumstances.”
How Does Character Determine Success?
Our Character Is What Determines How We Respond to the Situations and Circumstances of Life
The dictionary definitions said character is a “complex of mental and ethical traits“, that those traits, or qualities, are “distinctive to an individual” and that they are “built into an individual’s life.” It is those character qualities, those character traits, that determine a person’s response in any given situation. For example, a person in with a strong character quality of truthfulnessis much more likely to accurately report the facts in a given situation than a person who tends to be characterized by deceptiveness. Someone who has the character trait of alertnesswill be more likely to be a better, safer, driver than a person who does not see or recognize the potential dangers around him (carelessness). A person with the character quality of tolerancewill be more accepting of others – less prejudiced.
Success or failure in any situation or endeavor depends, more than anything else, on how we respond to events and circumstances. It follows that it is our character that determines our success. Of course, that doesn’t mean that “good” people will always experience more “success” than “bad” people. There are, however, some character traits that tend to lead to “success” and others that tend to produce “failure.” The question is, “What are the “good” character qualities, and what are “bad” qualities?
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Next… Good Character and Bad Character
What Do You Think?
What is your opinion about the importance of character in life?
– “Can you really train for character? or is it set during childhood?”
– “Is character training important?”
– “Should character education be done in schools or at home?”
– “Is Character Training ‘Unbiblical’ as some claim?”
– “Is Character Training A Cult?”
Please join the conversation and let us know what you think by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and leaving a comment.
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Have you ever read one of those DIY websites and tried to make the perfect flower arrangement or wooden tool box by reading only the directions?
It seems almost impossible, doesn’t it? Why? Because you need a visual to guide you. You need to see each step and see a finished product before you can create your own.
Writing can be like that too.
Sometimes, even after reading guidelines and tips on how to write a specific assignment, you still don’t quite understand how to put it all together.
If you’re feeling that way about writing a character analysis, here are two character analysis essay examples to inspire your finest work.
(Psst… Didn’t read all those tips about how to actually write a character analysis? Read How to Write a Character Analysis That Works before you read the rest of this post.)
2 Character Analysis Essay Examples with Character
The character analysis essay examples below analyze characters from short stories. I’ve included a variety of comments to help you see what these writers do well and what they might do to improve their analyses.
Character analysis essay example #1: Character Analysis of Anders in Bullet in the Brain, a Book by Tobias Wolff
The first essay is a brief analysis. It focuses on how readers see the character of Anders in the short story “Bullet in the Brain” develops.
*Click images below to enlarge.
In the above character analysis essay example, I noted that the writer could strengthen the introduction, thesis statement, and conclusion. Need help in those areas? Check out these resources:
Character analysis essay example #2: Character Analysis of Arnold Friend in Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?”
The second analysis focuses on Arnold Friend from the short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” This example is a longer, more fully developed essay.
It does more than just focus on what readers learn about the character from reading the short story. It also develops a more in-depth analysis of the type of personality presented in the character of Arnold Friend.
*Click images below to enlarge.
A Few Final Thoughts
Writing a character analysis isn’t only about examining what a character looks like or what he or she does. Writing an effective analysis means looking at the character more deeply to see what makes the character tick.
For instance, is a character cynical because of his background and life’s work, like Anders in “Bullet in the Brain”?
Is a character more than just a creepy guy? Could he be considered a deranged psychopath like Arnold Friend in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”
No matter the character you choose to analyze, remember to develop a key focus for your analysis and use evidence from the text to help support your conclusions.
If you’re looking for more information about literary analysis, take a look at these posts:
Still not sure your character analysis makes the grade? Send it our way for some expert feedback.
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