Wednesday, April 25, 2012
My Favorite Book Characters
I saw this a few days ago on a blog I follow and wanted to play along. I'm a reader so I thought that this would be fairly easy. I suppose it's also because I'm a reader that this took me much longer than I anticipated.
Oskar Schell - "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" - I laughed and cried and even when I was laughing, I was profoundly sad. I loved this little boy like he was my own though this story along with his flaws, his fears, his stories, and his realistic humanity even among such an unrealistic situation.
Jacob Jankowski - "Water for Elephants" - I have a pretty extreme love for the imagery in this book, so I may be a little biased. Your heart automatically goes out to Jacob over and over again in this story. He's essentially a really good guy. The viewpoints of the older Jacob verses the younger Jacob make his character multi-dimensional.
Alba DeTamble - "The Time Traveler's Wife" - Alba is the daughter of the two main characters. She is strong and assertive and has a fierce love for both of her parents despite her unique circumstances. Her dynamic with her father is what drew me to her, though. They have a pretty overwhelming emotional connection that's pretty fascinating to read.
August Boatwright - "The Secret Life of Bees" - I have sort of a thing for nurturing characters, it seems. August is the mother figure in this book, even though she's not a mother to any of the other characters. She's very respected, analytical and spiritual but more importantly has a great big heart. The love she has for her sisters is almost palatable.
Calvin O'Keefe - "A Wrinkle in Time" - When I first read this story way back when I remember loving all of the futuristic, sci-fi elements. I also remember adoring Calvin O'Keefe. He is one of the sweetest and most intelligent boys in children's literature.
Bobby - "It's Kind of a Funny Story" - There are characters you approve of or admire as an element of the craft, there are characters you’d marvel at if they were ever real, there are characters who become human. And then there are those characters that you identify with. Bobby is all of the above. He's flawed, but he's a great friend and is extremely identifiable.
Charlie - "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" - This book made me smile and it made me want to cry because I believed in Charlie. Reading it, I was struck by how strongly I rooted for Charlie to survive just that year with the least heartache. I admired how sensitive he was, how “non-participant” his ways were. I wanted Charlie to be my friend, and I wanted to be that friend Charlie wrote all those letters to.
Atticus Finch - "To Kill a Mockingbird" - Oh, Atticus, you broke my heart, but I will never quit you. You were the man who led me to believe that Good will always triumph over Evil, and a being a good person can be enough to save the day. If you’ve read the book, then you know how well that turns out (and if you haven’t … why?) What saves Atticus though, is the fact that no matter what happens, he will always be a good man in a flawed society. While being on the side of good doesn’t necessarily always win, the true value of a man appears when he shows up again the next day to start the fight all over.
Esther Greenwood - "The Bell Jar" - Esther Greenwood is one of the most relateable characters in English Literature and her descent into horrifying depression just shows the dark that can overcome anyone at any time in their lives. Esther is such a realistic and beautiful character that you can't help but love her and empathise with her.
Charlotte - "Charlotte’s Web" I know – Charlotte is that incredible character that you don’t forget. When she first meets the melancholy pig Wilbur, she manages to cheer him up with the strength of her convictions, and sets about to develop a plan to save his life. She inspires the humans around her by her love and clever use of language, and is the ultimate best friend, even giving her life to save Wilbur. How can you not love Charlotte? She contains the very best elements of the magic of childhood, the power of friendship, and the strength of bravery and determination all in one tiny package.
* If you happen to post a list of your favorites somewhere, please comment here with a link so I can check it out!