The outer characterization of Rex, one of the main characters in “The Word Love” by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, tells us that he is a typical American: “Someone whose favorite food is sacred cow steak and Budweiser. Who pops a pill now and then when he gets depressed.” (p. 2, ll. 8-9). He comes from a separated family, having childhood traumas about his parents’ divorce.

Inner characterization

Rex’s inner characterization is mostly constructed in relation to the narrator.

At the beginning of their relationship he was romantic and made the narrator want to be with him: “The morning he showed up outside your Shakespeare class with violets the color of his eyes.” (p. 2, ll. 13-14)

However, his attitude also suggests he is emotionally needy, as he pleads with the narrator to move in with him: “The night in his apartment (has it only been three months?) when he took your hands in his warm string ones, asking you to move in with him, please, because he really needed you.” (p. 2, ll. 17-19)

Rex is bothered by the fact that the narrator is constantly stressed about telling her mother about their relationship, and he sometimes mocks her about it. Furthermore, he cannot understand her inner conflict, taking it personally and seeing it ...

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