There’s an interesting conversation over at blog Fantasy Debut about bonding with characters in the novels you read. Most people who read find at least one or two characters in literature who feel real to them–characters you’d want to meet and hang out with. Characters you admire.
It got me thinking about a related topic; which literary characters have I felt were the most like me? Which ones did I share things in common with? Which ones did I want to be?
I’d like to hear your answer to this question. Here’s the list I came up with of my own personal favorites:
Nancy Drew–I wanted to be a detective from ages eleven to thirteen. Nancy Drew seemed just like what I wanted to be when I grew up! Intelligent, good-hearted, brave in the face of danger, pretty, and most importantly, she solves mysteries.
Karana–In ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS, Karana is a lonely native girl stranded on a desert island with only a tame wolf for company. I myself was an only child, with only a tame “wolf” (border collie) and “tiger” (grouchy cat) for companionship. I was of an age where I liked being alone, and Karana’s solitary life seemed both exciting and peaceful. On the brink of her teen years, Karana’s figuring out what it means to be a woman. I was eleven or twelve when I first read that story, and the question was pertinent to me as well.
Frodo Baggins–I’ve never had a ring of power. Sorry, this comparison isn’t quite that exciting. 🙂 But when I was seventeen and struggling with significant anxiety problems, I felt weighed down by a problem much too big for me. Then I picked up Lord of the Rings, the story of an unassuming hobbit who’s asked to take carry a burden well beyond the scope of his limited experience. Frodo and I journeyed together with our burdens for a couple of months as I read. I so wanted him to overcome the ring and have a happy ending–it would prove that I could overcome and have a happy ending, too. I remember reading the chapter where the ring gets destroyed, and putting the book down to find that my hands were shaking.
That’s my top three. What about you?