Main Article Content
Character is a fundamental literary element and it is defined as the act of describing characters in literature, particularly their physical attributes as well as personal traits. In multimodal texts, the visual and textual sign systems are interlaced together to exemplify meaningful characters. In this study, two picture books were examined to determine how semiotic meaning-making systems work together to develop the literary element ‘character’ based on an adaptation of Painter et al.’s (2013) multimodal discourse analysis framework. The findings showed a lack of detailed characterisation elements in the textual meaning-making systems for character attribution and affiliation between characters, but the visual depiction of characters in both the picture books addressed this shortcoming effectively. The textual mode helped to confirm the identity of characters especially when the visual manifestation is metonymic or incomplete. In short, knowledge of visual meaning making systems is necessary as it will enable young readers to attain a deeper understanding of the literary element ‘character’ and fully comprehend multimodal texts.