Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fictional Characters

One of the joys of reading is the characters who inhabit the fictional worlds of literature. Reflecting on my own reading I remember some of my favorites and find that they may provide me with information about my self. I like people who have traits that I admire. And I do not always like the heroes or heroines of my favorites works; at least not as much as some of the other characters or those from works which I do not value as highly. Some examples follow with brief commentary.

Last night at the monthly Plauche reading group we discussed
Great Expectations, among whose characters I am particularly fond of Joe Gargery, Pip's brother-in-law. He demonstrates many admirable virtues primarily being Pip's friend and support throughout the story, even when Pip treats him unjustly. Also on my list, and this is not in any particular order, are Alice in Wonderland, Jane Eyre, Dorothea Brooke of Middlemarch, Howard Roark of The Fountainhead, Bernard Rieux in The Plague, Pierre Bezukhov in War & Peace, and Larry Darrell in The Razor's Edge. This list (which definitely not comprehensive) may seem a strange grouping, but these characters are all memorable for me and demonstrate some characteristics which I admire even as they are also flawed in many ways. Aren't we all?

I think this particular group share in common the trait that they are all seekers; after happiness, knowledge, wisdom, love and a better life. They do not all succeed completely, but they pursue their goals in admiral ways and I find them one of the primary reasons to continue reading, searching for myself.

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