Bukowski through the eyes of Bukowski

Task One:

  1. How would other people describe the character’s physical appearance? “The boy screamed it out, “Mommy! What’s wrong with that man’s face?” (128)
  2. Good or bad, what is the character’s most striking feature? Henry’s most striking feature is his face, which is covered with puss filled boyles. His body is covered in them as well, but his face is all others can see.
  3. How would you describe the character’s strength, endurance, and coordination when it comes to physical activity and sports?
  4. Does the character have any permanent physical defects, such as nearsightedness, or temporary ones, such as a broken leg? If so, what are they?
  5. What is the character’s greatest physical asset? From the way Henry refers to them in the novel, one might think that his balls are his greatest physical asset, but I think that it is his largeness. He knows that himself and the other kids his age are bigger than all the older kids, and from that he recognizes that they are different and makes him feel almost special.
  6. What is the character’s greatest physical weakness or liability?  Henry’s greatest weakness stems from

Henry’s inner life.

  1. How would you describe the character’s intelligence? I would say that he has a sort of awareness that sets him apart intellectually from other kids. He has a very mature and pessimistic understanding of the world around him that his peers in the novel do not seem to have.
  2. How would you describe the character’s imagination? His imagination runs pretty wild; his imaginative way of thinking leads him to great ideas and creative ways of story-telling. Once he discovers that people like his lies; that his lies entertain others, he has an incentive to be imaginative and I think that it is with his imagination that he was able to write his way into fame.
  3. How does the character rate in terms of common sense and sound judgment?  “The kids had to work off their demerits in garbage detail. If you had more than ten demerits and didn’t work them off, you couldn’t graduate. I didn’t care whether I graduated or not. That was their problem. I could just stay around getting older and older and bigger and bigger. I’d get all the girls.” (117)
  4. How would you describe the character’s outlook on life? He finds life to be discouraging. As soon as something starts to right in his life, something else goes wrong. He has a very cynical view of life because of this, but still somehow finds the motivation to keep pushing himself through the hard times.
  5. Does the character tend to be dominant or submissive with others, and why?
  6. How does the character usually approach major problems?
  7. What is the character’s greatest talent?
  8. What is the character’s greatest lack of talent?
  9. What is the character’s biggest success in life so far?
  10. What is the character’s biggest failure in life so far?
  11. Up to now, what has been the character’s main ambition?
  12. What is the character’s biggest delusion?
  13. In order of importance, identify the character’s three greatest fears.
  14. In order of importance, name three things that make the character really angry.
  15. What would make the character feel embarrassed, ashamed, or guilty?
  16. How would you describe the character’s moral standards?
  17. What are three things the character most values?
  18. What are three things your character least values?
  19. What is the character’s greatest virtue?
  20. What is the character’s greatest vice?
  21. Identify something unusual the character might do–but only if people would not know about it.
  22. Name three things the character would never, ever do.
  23. What is the character’s biggest secret and why has this stayed hidden?
  24. What turns the character on sexually?
  25. What is the character’s greatest psychological strength?
  26. What is the character’s greatest psychological weakness?

Task Two:

How would other people describe the character’s physical appearance? I assume other people would see me as having average features. Natural hair color, medium height, medium weight, and not wearing ten pounds of makeup.

How would you describe the character’s strength, endurance, and coordination when it comes to physical activity and sports? I don’t need to play sports in order to demonstrate my clumsiness and lack of coordination. However, I was a really good hockey player before I decided it was too tiring and time consuming. That being said, it is clear I don’t have a lot of endurance.

What is the character’s greatest physical weakness or liability? Even when there is nothing wrong with me, I feel as if there is. And when there is something wrong with me, concerning my health, I usually don’t do much to help myself. Laziness and hypochondria is not an ideal combination.

 How would you describe the character’s intelligence? I feel that I am fairly intelligent,  maybe less so than I imagine myself to be, but I don’t always use my brain for the best purposes.

How does the character rate in terms of common sense and sound judgment? If I was capable of making sound judgement a few years ago, my personal life would probably be a million times more bearable, but it is possible that my heart still would have gotten the best of me. My experiences where I have failed to exhibit common sense and good judgement have taught me one very important life lesson; to be more brutally honest than you’d like to be and to never undervalue your feelings for the sake of others. I guess that is two lessons.

How would you describe the character’s outlook on life? Most people are not to be trusted, there is always an ulterior motive.

How does the character usually approach major problems? By running away from them. Or by completely overreacting before I give myself time to find an effective approach.

What is the character’s greatest talent? I used to think I was a good artist, sketching mostly, and have been questioning my skills since someone basically told me I was crap.

What is the character’s greatest lack of talent? Lack of motivation to perform equals lack of talent.

What is the character’s biggest success in life so far? If all goes according to plan, I might have an answer to that in five years.

What is the character’s biggest failure in life so far? My ability to make meaningful friendships last.

In order of importance, identify the character’s three greatest fears. Fear of the dark, fear of making the wrong choices, fear of failure.

How would you describe the character’s moral standards? Questionable at times, but for the most part wholesome. My mom would approve.

Identify something unusual the character might do–but only if people would not know about it. 

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