Tuesday, June 26, 2012

30 Day Book Challenge! Day 25: Characters

Day 25: Who is a character that you can relate to the most?

This question, I do not like (to speak like Yoda - and NOOO! I am not saying I relate to him at all!!) In the first place, isn't one of the main goals of a well-written story to make you, as the reader, relate to (at least one of) the characters? If you didn't relate, why would you keep reading? Who has ever read a book where they did not sympathize, understand, or admire the character(s)? In some way - sometimes big, sometimes small - a person can relate to any character he reads about. Your personal desire for adventure, suspense, usefulness, or beauty (and the list could go on and on) will cause you to relate to characters such as Marguerite and Percy Blakeney, Watson, Polly Milton, or Walter Gregory. Thus, in all honesty, I could relate to any character I've read about - and I think, since none of the characters are me, there would be quite a few who all fall in the "most" category.

Secondly, I don't like stereotypes or labels (as mom says "I'm agin' 'em"), and it seems to me that girls (especially) like to romanticize the idea of being "like ____" from such-and-such a book. Far from saying it's bad to compare one's personality against a book characters, it just seems rather silly to me how much store someone will set by being like so-and-so (who's not even a real person!). Emily and I have laughed several times - speficially in the Shadow of the Bear trilogy - at how sister stories tend to have one sister more like her, and one more like me, but I think if we, as girls, decide we are like a certain character, it can often begin to impact how we act - and there's only one Person from one Book that I want to have that sort of sway on my life.

*draws deep breath* Unfortunately, despite my long-winded-ness on the subject, the question remains. So, I'll tweak it just a microscopic scoosh - who is a character you feel like you particularly  understand? - and proceed.

Elinor Dashwood. I am sure you who know me are thinking of the millions of ways I am not like her - and I know there are several. But here are the ways I "relate" to her:

-she tries to make decisions based on what is right and logical, not on her emotions
-few people know about or understand her deeper emotions. She just can't express them with the same amount of clarity, eloquence, or openness as Marianne, and so people think she doesn't experience the same emotions at all.
And I understand those characteristics. I do not pretend to be exactly like (how could I, when everyone can read my face like an open book?), but I understand her.


Jessica said...

I'd have to say Samantha from the American Girls stories. She was always looking for opportunities to help others and didn't care about what others thought of her. I have similar personality traits which made the books all the more interesting to read.

Lauren said...

I've always related to Elinor as well...guess that's why we're friends! (-;

Rachel said...

Well said, Sarah.

SarahJayne said...

Jessica, I love the Samantha books! That's cool that you have *the* understanding of her character!
Lauren: true, true. :)
Rachy - muchas gracias!