Formally Iconoclastic – William, Grade 7

Formally Iconoclastic – William, Grade 7

This character analysis is written by one of my grade 7 students. It is based on an excerpt from The Strangeness of Beauty by Lydia Minatoya. The essay has a unique title, representing the character in only two words. It does not contain a hook and kicks off with the introduction of the literary work (using a hook in a character analysis is acceptable as well).  The essay has a clear thesis, stating three clear adjectives to describe the character. The writer applies two – out of six – character revelation techniques to prove his point: what the character says and what the character does. He finally wraps up by restating the main points.

Formally Iconoclastic

In an excerpt from the story called The Strangeness of Beauty, the main character, Akira, directly asks his girlfriend’s mother, Chie, for her permission for their marriage. By not asking a go-between to make the proposal, Akira breaks the traditional Japanese custom. In his conversation with Chie, Akira is portrayed as a very formal, serious, and brave character.

One of Akira’s characteristics is that he is extremely formal. On lines 31 and 32, Akira says “Madame, forgive my disruption, but I have come with a manner of urgency.” Most people would just say something such as “Sorry, but I have something really important to tell you,” which isn’t extremely formal, but polite enough to not be considered rude. Also, on lines 72 and 73, Akira says “I see I’ve startled you. My humble apologies” because he realizes that he has shocked Chie. Many people would not apologize in such a formal tone.

Akira is also shown as a very serious character. The fact that he doesn’t have a jovial tone is a reason why. On lines 31 and 32, as his first statement, Akira says, “Madame, forgive my disruption, but I have come with a manner of urgency,” which indicates that he is very serious. There weren’t any greetings; there was just the urgent note, and no more. Usually, people who are not exactly serious would say something such as “Hi ma’am! I need to discuss some serious stuff with you!” in a more friendly tone.

Not only is Akira very formal and serious, but he is also very brave. The way he “came directly, breaking all tradition,” indirectly states that he is very brave, especially because the average person would just not pull themselves together to go against all tradition.

To sum up, Akira is a very polite, serious, and brave person. These three characteristics most likely helped Akira summon up his courage to go to his girlfriend’s mother to ask for her permission without the use of a go-between.