I was tagged on twitter to blog on this, so here I go, trying to narrow down my favorite literary characters out of all the books in existence.
Hermione Granger from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling– yes, she comes as one of my first because I loved her so much as a young girl. I remember as the class nerd I felt comfort in smart Hermione. I cried with her at Ron’s rudeness, I laughed with her at the boys’ illogical behavior, I rooted for her to win all throughout. Such an inspiring female character.
Lucy Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis– Well, following along those lines I can never forget my Narnia heroine. Although I liked Peter better as I read them later (older sibling problems), I still couldn’t help but admire Lucy’s faith and bravery, her belief in Aslan even in the hardest times.
Nancy Sykes from The Adventures of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens- Oliver Twist is one of my favorite novels of all time, and there are so many fantastic characters in Dickens. He creates such masterpieces, so funny and random and inspiring. But I always liked Nancy and her tragic story, her amazing heroic role in spite of her immoral living situation. Had to include a Dicken’s character, that’s the main thing.
Richard III from Richard III by William Shakespeare– this seems funny after my other very noble heroes to start with, but between him and Lady Macbeth, Shakespeare really does a fantastic job creating some remarkable villains. Sure, he’s pretty much a flat character in some rights, completely evil almost just for the sake of being evil, but he is a puzzling and remarkable character and Shakespeare portrays him so stunningly. Even as a Ricardian, I like this play simply for the genius of the Bard’s storytelling.
Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte- Jane speaks to me so wonderfully. She is plain and small, poor and defenseless, and yet she remains strong and smart, passionate and talented, even in the face of all her trials. I admire her so much and never tire of reading her story.
Cyrano de Bergerac from Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand- He’s so brave, intelligent, poetic in spite of his obvious insecurities about his outward appearance. I love this story so much, but mostly I love listening to Cyrano woo his lady, or even better, insult a challenger who dares to mock his hideous nose. Such a wonderful story with a fantastic main character.
The Monster from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley– This character is so utterly complex, amazingly tragic in his own story (not the horrible creations of Hollywood that have destroyed him). The monster is a character to whom I’m oddly sympathetic. He is rejected by the one who made him, turned away by all who meet him. I love the complexity Shelley managed to give him, and cry over the fact that he’s somehow been reduced to a grunting green thing that has no personality.
Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee– Such a brave and inspiring man, and yet also just a loveable father figure. I know one of my earliest essays I was very proud of proclaimed Atticus as a true hero to his story.
Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien– I think I mostly picked him since he bridges Tolkien’s The Hobbit with this series. Nonetheless, I’ve always loved Gandalf. I think I love him most dragging Bilbo out his door, but his little bits and pieces of wisdom are also very inspiring.
Jack from Room by Emma Donoghue– Mostly I’m running out of characters I know I love, but I read this story over Christmas break and liked Jack’s unique take on the world. He’s funny and clever for his young age, somehow possesses wisdom alongside his lack of understanding. His story made me cry, cringe, laugh, and wonder.
So there, 10 characters I’ve liked or loved or at least been able to put onto a list. Voila, there you have it!
What characters do you love and why? What do you think are the main qualities you like in a character? Do you have any villains you particularly enjoyed in spite of all his or her badness?