6.26.2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Who Remind Me of Myself and People I Know in Real Life

This topic is a bit dangerous. :) It's much too possible to offend real-life people who read your blog, either by listing them as similar to a flawed character, or by not listing them at all. Hence, a lot of these comparisons are going to be about me, because I'm reasonably certain not to take offense.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Do come join the fun...

It turns out that when I think carefully about which fictional characters remind me most of myself, I come up with somewhat different answers than I've had on my About Page. Hmm.

1) Ron Weasley. While Harry's introspection, Hermione's penchant for rules, and Luna's daydreamy nature all come far more naturally to me than Ron's external bluster, Ron blends comic instincts and loyalty with insecurity and mild emotional instability in a way that describes my psychological makeup just a little too accurately for comfort. (The Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling)

2) Heidi. Domestic little Heidi loves home so much that she's always a little unhappy and out of place when she's away from it. Me, too. (Heidi, Johanna Spyri)

3) Jane Bennet. Jane presumes that everyone in the world makes constant, conscientious efforts toward decency, and is unreasonably shocked every time she discovers some rogue who doesn't. I'm far too strong-willed to match her in other regards, but for good or for ill, I admit to sharing that one. (Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen)

4. Min Farshaw. It took me a good three or four books to even tolerate Min, and I still find Egwene and Nynaeve far more lovable. For that matter, I sometimes even like Aviendha better. But emotionally, I see myself in a lot of Min's responses, and it doesn't hurt that I quickly developed a wholehearted and sometimes unreasonable adoration for Rand. Also, I like my breeches jeans. (The Wheel of Time books, Robert Jordan)

5. Konstantin Levin. Kostya is prone to throwing himself body and soul into anything he takes interest in, but not without constant uncertainty and self-doubt. It takes him forever to spot the answers that lie very obviously in front of his face, and he alternates between the wild artistic thrills of discovery and an almost unbearably painful confusion, even when things are going well for him. Zdrastvooyte, Konstantin Dmitrievich. Welcome to my life. (I don't know how to say that in Russian.) (Anna Karenina, Lev Tolstoy)

OK, that is more than enough about me.

If you want to know about the man I've loved and married, try this post. Of the characters named, he most resembles 6) Mr. Darcy in personality, though he is much too good-natured to have ever referred to me with the words "She is tolerable, I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me." (Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen)

Presuming my family doesn't mind me playing this game:

Gentle, wise, hardworking Dad, living with his strong-minded wife and daughters, always reminded me of 7a) Mr. March, whom I never envisioned with the problems of Bronson Alcott. And there's something sort of apropos about the fact that we text each other in 7b) Yoda-speak. (Little Women, Louisa May Alcott; the Star Wars films, George Lucas et. al.)

Mom sometimes puts me in mind of driven, perceptive 8a) Elizabeth Bennet, sometimes of 8b) Eowyn the beautiful fighter, and I'd be remiss if I left off 8c) Marmee March, who was to Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy very much as Mom is to the three of us. (Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen; Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien; Little Women, Louisa May Alcott)

Sister Beth inherited much of the Lizzy Bennet personality along with the name, and in keeping with the March family theme, has a lot of 9b) Jo's devotion, independence, and bravery. (Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen; Little Women, Louisa May Alcott)

Other Sister, who prefers not to be mentioned openly on the Internet, shares Jane Bennet's placid nature and 10b) Amy March's appeal and composure. (Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen; Little Women, Louisa May Alcott)

Why, yes, I do sympathize with Meg March in many ways. Especially the Heidi side of me. And people wonder why I love Little Women so much. Haha.

I'm very curious: what fictional characters most remind you of yourself? Are there characters who put you in mind of someone you know? Do answer in the combox, or link to your Top Ten list.

5 comments:

  1. This is a great prompt. It's hard to answer because, there are a fair number of characters I admire so much, I'd like to think I'm like them...but perhaps, I'm not. Or rather, I try to be, which can't be a bad thing. :) Anne Shirley falls into this category for me. So, assuming perhaps that others are sometimes more aware of aspects of my character than even I am, I have a funny story that in turn enables me to truly answer the prompt with...Hermione Granger. Here is the story:

    I first read the Harry Potter books in the 10th grade, which for me was right around when Goblet of Fire was either just released, or soon to be. My bookish best friend, Dorian, assured me I would love them, even though I was skeptical from all the hype. Well, I eventually dove into Sorcerer's Stone, and of course devoured them, while offering my very extroverted commentary to Dorian and our other bookish friends who had already read the available volumes. They enjoyed listening to me, chuckling and snickering at my opinions of the characters and guesses as to where the plot was going, since they knew and I did not.

    Well, still in the first book, I ventured to comment that Hermione was incredibly annoying and that I didn't like her much yet. Dorian, known for his frank honesty, looked incredulous and said to me: "Donna, you are Hermione." I took it...decently? Laughed and said, really? Gosh I hope I'm not actually that annoying, etc. (I was known as an academic oveachiever, but I mean, there was more to her, and to me, than just that...) Anyway, Dorian told me to keep reading and I'd understand why. I did, and of course, Hermione warms to the reader as the story progresses through the next volumes, which mollified me a bit.

    But it wasn't until the later volumes in which her insecurities started to come out as the effort against Voldemort got more intense (and demanded more sacrifices of all involved), that I really started to see myself in her. Her reliance on what she knows in order to feel in control--while also learning that ultimately there are more ephemeral things that result in the strength that may be necessary (like loyalty and surrender of the will to good forces that are greater than you)...yea, that was me. And it also helped me make sense of why, as a younger person (in grade school, when Dorian made the initial comment about me being like Hermione), I was how I was--a bit of a know-it-all. It allowed me to be forgiving toward my younger self, while also embracing my strengths and weaknesses as a (now) adult (since Deathly Hallows came out all those years later).

    That was a long comment. :) But now, whenever I reread the series, while Harry is the one whose head and heart we travel in throughout the tale, Hermione's journey and transformation are what I relate to most--in this particular tale, she is who I identify as "me" and all the ways she grows are the same ways I seek to grow in my own life. Her strength in the later books humbles me greatly, and gives me something to aim for and emulate, if I were ever faced with the kinds of choices she is. It's easier to emulate the strength and courage of someone whose blueprint is very similar to your own, so I'm very grateful for Hermione's presence in the trio.

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  2. That's really quite beautiful, Donna! I think that sometimes we have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the characters we're most like. They remind us of both our strengths and our weaknesses.

    I've always loved Hermione, and sympathize with her in a lot of ways; my know-it-all-ishness tends to be specific to a very few areas of expertise, though. I don't have her full-scale genius. :) But she's a fantastic character, and one of my favorites in fiction.

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  3. Like Donna, I'm a good deal like Hermione. I'd also throw in some Jo March, Calvin O'Keefe, Sherlock Holmes, and a huge dash of Jane Eyre. This may sound like an odd blend, but my logical-philosopher-naturalist strain blends with a heavy dose of child-like wonder and finger-wagging goody-two-shoes (as my husband calls me).

    Much as I love Anne Shirley and Luna Lovegood, I am not the dreamy-type.

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  4. Nice of you not to call attention to the loudmouth-speaks-before-she-thinks characteristics which I also share with Jo March. For better or worse Jo is the character with whom I have always had the most sympathy. We always were the March family, and I was always Jo.

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  5. Carrie-Ann, I suspect most of us real-life humans see ourselves in "an odd blend." Hey, I have Ron Weasley and Kostya Levin on my list, along with innocent Swiss Heidi and boyish Min Farshaw. It's hard to know someone properly over the Interwebs, but the list you describe makes a lot of sense to me. :)

    Beth, we really were always the March family, weren't we? I'd forgotten how much so until I started writing all this out. And yes, you always were Jo, and I like that about you. :)

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