farmer.GIFDURING THE EXPOSITION
· For a majority of the story we see Mr. Wills through the eyes of the protagonist. Only at the end do we get a direct characterization of Mr. Wills through his dialogue
· Mr. Wills is portrayed as an aggressive character. His ‘bright, fierce eyes’ ‘withered’ everyone at the village, showing how formidable he is. The boys think that he is capable of murder if enraged
· Grudging admiration as Mr. Wills is ‘the best farmer in the community’
· His aggressiveness is portrayed in the verbs used to describe his farming methods, ’fought the earth’ ‘yelling for a mile’ and ‘scuffing dirt’ over his crops.
· His possessiveness over his seed melon is indicated by use of sarcasm by the protagonist ‘at least he didn’t guard Willadean with a shotgun’. His possessiveness borders on madness as he is ‘frenzied with fear’ regarding his seed melon. This also shows how he regards his crop as a higher priority than his own family, even guarding it with a shotgun, rumored to be filled with ‘buckshot’.
· Seems selfish at the start of the story as the narrator tells us that ‘ he (Mr. Wills) didn’t have any idea of sharing them (the watermelons)’. Offers a contrast with the end of the story when we realize that he is saving them for his wife.


Mr. Wills’ characterization (indirect) in the rising action:

Point
Evidence
Explanation
Response
Respected
‘old man Will’s seed, it deserves more respect’
· Even though they were scared of him they respected him and wanted to treat the stolen watermelon with the same respect

Intimidating
‘Mr. Wills having his gun loaded with double-ought buckshot’
· The fierceness with which he protected a simple thing like a watermelon with a shotgun made him appear to be aggressive
· Creates an opportunity for a small twist in the tale when we see his reaction to the confession isn’t as fierce as was expected.
Mr. Wills’ characterization in the falling action:
· Volatile temper– ‘insane with anger’ & ‘his eyes gleaming furiously’ – He could get very destructive when provoked
· Violent man- ‘striking at him with his fist’- This went together with what people perceived him as: a macho, strong, dominating man.
· There’s a lot of violent action in the form of kinesthetic imagery- ‘shoved my father away, striking at him with his fist’, ‘Raging up and down the field’
· The abundant use of action verbs like ‘striking’, ‘stamping’ and ‘raging’ in this extract of the story indicates the pace and intensity of Mr. Wills’ destruction and his anger at the theft. This makes readers wary of the wrath of Mr. Wills, and further complements his formidable appearance. This description heightens the courage of the narrator as he confesses his crime in spite of witnessing Mr. Wills’ fury.
Contrast between the impressions other people had and Mr. Wills' true nature
· ‘A grown man crying in such strength’- twist to Mr. Wills’ character-shows that behind his macho façade, he’s an emotional man. This offers juxtaposition to the earlier opinions of the readers, as he shows a more vulnerable side to his personality. This lends credence to the metaphor of Mr Wills’ character being similar to a watermelon- as he seems to be hard natured on the outside, but is instead a much more sensitive to his loved ones.
· To further develop the change in Mr. Wills’ character, the narrator uses adjectives to show his turmoil on discovering the absence of his beloved watermelon. By describing the cry of Mr. Wills as ‘strangled’, his helplessness is portrayed (in contrast to the formidable, powerful figure at the start of the story). This is further substantiated by using the simile ‘like the cry of a wild animal’, as this makes the cries of Mr. Wills seem uncontrollable and not quite human. Deepens the sense of anguish
· Very attached to anything related to his family – ’it was her melon for eating’ – He was anguished due to the loss of the melon he planted for his wife. This contrasts his macho façade, showing readers that he is in fact very emotional and that the watermelon had more significance to Mr. Wills than the narrator and the readers thought he did.
· Mr. Wills’ body language shows a change in his character - he ‘leaned down’ to the narrator’s level to talk to him, ‘puts his hand on his (progatonist’s) shoulder, he speaks ‘softly’ to the boy and by the end of the incidence there is ‘no fierceness’.
· Is eventually forgiving and shares the blame- ‘both to blame’- not just the brute that he is made out to be in the first half of the story
· Mr Wills too has learnt a lesson- not to be possessive and unforgiving. Learns to be more co-operative- ‘we’ll grow it together’
· Wills gives the protagonist a ‘hard smile’. He’s learning to let go of his anger and forgive the narrator for his misdeeds. Appreciates his courage.