The Mind Map,
or If we could take a look inside your character's head, what would we see?

You will be creating a mind map -- a visual and written portrait illustrating several aspects of your character's interior life within the literary work.

I have a few suggestions for filling up the space within your character's head, but feel free to come up with your own creations. As always, the choices you make should be based on the text. You should defend your choices in written form in a paragraph explaining why you designed your mind map the way you did. Above all, your choices should be creative, analytical, and accurate.

Mind Map Requirements

Although I expect your mind map to contain additional dimensions, your portrait must contain:

  • References to both the character's stable personality traits and change in the work
  • Visual symbols
  • Your character's three most important quotes (or quotes describing the character)

Mind Map Suggestions

  1. Motivation and Values --.Actors often discuss a character's objective within a work. What is the most important goal for your character? What drives his/her thoughts and actions? This is his/her "spine." How can you illustrate this central objective?
  2. Virtues and Vices -- What are your character's most admirable qualities? His/her worst? How can you make us visualize them?
  3. Color -- Colors are often symbolic. What color(s) do you most associate with your character? Why? How can you effectively work these colors into your presentation?
  4. Symbols -- What objects can you associate with your character that illustrate his/her essence? Are there objects mentioned within the work itself that you could use? If not, choose objects that especially seem to correspond with the character.
  5. Conflicts -- With whom or what does your character struggle? Another character? His/her own personality and/or decisions? Unfortunate events? Fate? How might you illustrate these conflicts?
  6. Mirror, Mirror -- Consider both how your character appears to others on the surface and what you know about the character's inner self. Do these images clash or correspond? What does this tell you about the character?
  7. Changes -- How has your character changed within the work? Trace these changes within your text and/or artwork.
  8. Peaks and Valleys -- Identify the high and low points of your character's life within the work, and determine the causes (events, characters?) and effects (mental distress, drastic measures?) of these peaks and valleys.

Adapted from a presentation by Cindy O'Donnell-Allen.

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