Compare/Contrast Character Analysis

Character Analysis
Smoke Signals
Your assignment is to write a short essay analyzing the character of Victor or Thomas Builds
the Fire in the movie Smoke Signals.
Begin your analysis by brainstorming about your chosen character. What adjectives would you
use to describe him? Come up with a list of at least ten adjectives. This is not an optional
activity—you must do this and turn it in with your draft. Choose one of these character
traits to focus on in your essay. Develop a thesis statement about your character based on this
trait. For example: In the movie Smoke Signals, Victor Joseph’s actions, thoughts and speech
show he is angry because of his father’s desertion of the family.
Your essay should have three paragraphs: an introductory paragraph, a paragraph about your
chosen trait, and a concluding paragraph. Your introductory paragraph should introduce the
film by giving a short synopsis (summary). It should also contain your thesis statement.
Your body paragraph should contain a topic sentence, three concrete details, and
commentary about each detail. You should also have a concluding sentence. Use specific
events from the film to make your point about each character. You might, for example, say that
Thomas values tradition, as shown by his storytelling and his connection to his family. Then
give examples of the stories he tells and explain how they connect him to his tribal past, and
demonstrate how he values family. You are not simply noticing something about the
characters—you are inferring and making judgments about the ways they think and behave. If
your character is dynamic (that is, changes during the course of the film), you might want to
show that change in your paragraph.
We will be in the computer lab on October 30th, 31st and November 1st to work on your first
draft, which is due at the end of class on Thursday, November 1st. Since you will have two and
one half days in the computer lab, I expect a complete draft (all three paragraphs). Failure to
turn in this draft will result in a letter grade deduction from your final essay, as well as a zero
for the draft assignment. Your draft will be returned to you on Monday, November 5th and we
will be in the Library on November 6-9 to complete this and begin work on a research project.
Your final draft is due to me on Thursday, November 8. Please attach your pre-writing
(brainstorming of adjectives), the Venn diagram or t-chart you kept during the movie comparing
Thomas and Victor, and your draft (with my comments and rubric) with your final essay.
Failure to include these will result in a grade penalty.
Your essay should be typed and double-spaced in Times New Roman 12. Your essay should
follow the conventions of good writing, including spelling and punctuation.
a late penalty of one letter grade (10 points) per day late.