The presenter defines each of the central characters in 'Sunset Song' by Lewis Grassic Gibbon. Chris Guthrie is considered through the narrative perspective of the text, her strengths, and the division in her character between English Chris and Scottish Chris. John Guthrie is examined by looking at his strengths and weaknesses, particularly his sexual urges.
Ewan Tavendale is Chris’s lover. We are presented with his strengths and weaknesses and the destructive nature of war on his character. Will Guthrie is viewed as sensitive, but is also strong by standing up to his father and moving away from Scotland. Reverend Stuart Gibbon is presented as a hypocrite through his womanising.
Before watching the clip, explore character and ask students to define what makes a full and realistic character (talk about background, fears, desires, goals, family and other factors.) Have the class work together to create a diagram exploring the characters. Start with an outline drawing of Chris, inside which character traits, thoughts and feelings are listed, with evidence from the text. Around the figure write the opinions that other characters have of Chris. Repeat the exercise for other characters.
Hot-seat activities could also take place, with a student taking on the role of a character and answering questions from other students about their feelings and motivations.