Character vs Trait
Character and Trait are two words used in the English language between which a number of differences can be identified. However, some people tend to confuse the terms and even consider a character and trait as synonyms. First it is vital to gain a basic understanding as to what is meant by the two terms. A Character refers to the distinctive qualities that make up an individual. A trait, on the other hand, is a feature of an individual who is inherent. This highlights the main difference between a character and a trait. While a character needs to be built by a person, a trait comes genealogically. This article attempts to highlight the difference between a character and trait while elucidating the two terms.
What is a Character?
When examining the term, Character, it is to be understood in the sense of quality. A person with a good character is considered as a person with good qualities such as honesty, integrity, kindness, helpfulness, etc.. A person with a bad character is considered as a person with bad qualities such as deception, rudeness, manipulation, etc.. A Character is usually to be imbibed. When a child is taught good qualities and is socialized in a favorable environment, the child naturally learns to build a positive character. This is because the primary socialization of the child is very positive. The parents and other relatives create a good impact on the child through their actions and behavior. The child notices good qualities in others and begins to internalize such qualities. Such a child refrains from lying to others, deceiving others and even hurting other human beings, as well as animals.
As the child grows up through secondary socialization, the child gains more exposure. This highlights that association plays a significant role in character building. That is why it is said that the association with the noble brings about good character in others whereas the association with the wicked gives rise to wicked qualities and bad character in others. It is often said that the character makes a man perfect. Character plays a very important role in shaping one’s life. A character may not be visible at all times. It is something within the individual which guides his behavior in ether a positive or negative manner.
What is a Trait?
Now let us pay attention to what is meant by a trait. A trait is a characteristic or a feature of a person or a thing that is inherited normally genealogically. This emphasizes that unlike a character that needs to be molded, a trait is inherent. This is the main difference between character and trait. In other words, it can be said that trait is all about inheritance whereas character is about associations. It comes on its accord. A person might be endowed with a good and sweet voice and might have inherited the voice from his father or his grandfather as a trait. A character, on the other hand, cannot come down like a trait from his elders.
For example, the son of a freedom fighter can grow as a man with bad character.
Hence, it is to be understood that while a character is based on association, a trait is not based on association. In other words, association does not affect one’s traits. Traits can be seen within family members. In certain occasions, traits are shared by some many members of the family. It does not always have to be a melodic voice or a specific physical feature. It can even be a temperament. For an example, in a family the father has a very aggressive and hot temperament. The son also displays a similar temperament, from childhood itself. This can be an inherent trait.
What is the Difference Between a Character and Trait?
- A Character refers to the distinctive qualities that make up an individual.
- A trait, on the other hand, is a feature of an individual who is inherent.
- The main difference between a character and a trait is while a character needs to be built by a person and absorbed, a trait comes genealogically.
1.”Doing the best she can” by Beth Rankin [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
2. Miley_Cyrus_singing_during_the_Wonder_World_Tour_concert_in_Portland,_Oregon by Bonnie () [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons