Literary Characters

I’m pretty sure that everyone knows I have my masters degree in English; given that, I’m also sure that you all know I love to read.  What you might not know is that I read because of the characters, not the stories.  In my opinion, there is nothing better than a well-developed, well-rounded character who exhibits some growth.   Because I read so much, the stories tend to all blend together in the long run.  There are times that I can’t remember what happened in which stories; that’s why I focus on the characters.  I’ve compiled a short list of some of my favorite literary characters and a brief explanation as to why I love them.

  1.  My absolute favorite literary character is Juliet Capulet (from Shakespeare’s famous work, Romeo and Juliet).  Yes, I know she dies in the end and yes I know she’s only a kid (and therefore a bit crazy) but, from the start, I saw something in her that I have always admired.  She knows what she wants and she doesn’t care that going for it may completely ruin her life.  In fact, given the time period, her marrying Romeo without her father’s permission could have landed her in prison (or beheaded).  Do I find it a little hokey that she falls in love with Romeo like 5 minutes after knowing him and agrees to marry him shortly after, yes; but, you’ve got to admit that what she did took some chutzpah!  There is nothing more amazing to me than a person (girl or boy) who knows exactly what they want and isn’t afraid to go for it.  I’m fairly certain that Freud would say that I’m projecting here by loving the person who I’d love to be; he’s probably right.
  2. My second favorite is Katniss Everdeen (from the Hunger Games series).  No, not at all because of her romanticism; if you read it you know she has none.  In actuality, she’s actually very much an anti-romantic, who has no idea what she wants romantically.  I love her because she does what she has to do for her family without even thinking for one second the implications that her actions will have on her own life.  She volunteers to practically die in her sisters place for God sake’s; and then, when she doesn’t, she wages a war to protect her sister.  In the end, she is unsuccessful in protecting her sister and you can see what it does to her mentally.  She’s also badass with a bow and arrow; it’s kind of awesome!  I think I love her so much because she reminds me so much of me (except for the badass part).  Sadly, I am not a badass.
  3. Last, but certainly not least, is another badass chick with a bow; Arya Stark (from the Game of Thrones series).  I haven’t even finished reading the whole series, but I love her already.  She’s another one not at all afraid to go against the grain and do exactly what she wants.  You see, in her world, it was not at all the “norm” for a girl to want to learn to fight.  Girls generally were uneducated and good only for baring and caring for children.  When they grow up, they’re married off and literally used to birth children who can carry on the family name.  I admire people who like to defy what’s normal and simply be themselves- definitely something that I can look up to.

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