Friday, February 19, 2021

Who is your favorite? / Who would you save?

The Classics Club Meme 2.0 asks: 

 

Who is your favorite classic character? That’s a little like picking my favorite child, but in this instance, I’ll give it a try…by first mentioning the also rans:

 

Faramir from The Lord of the Rings: If you’ve read it, I don’t need to explain why. Heroic, egoless, devoted son and brother.

 

Starbuck from Moby Dick: Brave without bravado, duty bound, wise and gentle.

 

Denver from Beloved: in the beginning, frightened and angry, in the end heroic and loving

 

Francisco d’Anconia from Atlas Shrugged: I thought his speech at the dinner party, was better than John Galt’s definitive broadcast.

 

Nick Andros from The Stand: How I love Nick. He nearly rationalizes leaving the feeble-minded man-child Tom. Nick has problems of his own after all – a deaf-mute in post-apocalyptic chaos – Tom will only increase Nick’s struggles, but Tom will not survive long on his own…Nick will not, cannot leave him.

 

Marmee from Little Women: More than just a loving devoted mother (which is plenty in and of itself). Marmee was ahead of her time, and made her little women know they had value beyond which 19thCentury America readily acknowledged.

 

But my favorite of favorites is Sydney Carton from my favorite of favorites novel, A Tale of Two Cities. Two words – sacrificial love.


 

***** BONUS FEATURE *****


In a similar theme, Paula from The Vince Review asks: Which Character [from classic fiction] Would You Save?

 

There’s so many to choose from. I think the first character in literature whose death broke my heart, was John Thornton from The Call of the Wild. I wanted Thornton and the dog Buck to spend a lifetime together. Of course, that would have been contrary to the entire point of the story, but I was 10 and didn’t really get it. Next was Thorin Oakenshield from The Hobbit, and then I should mention Boromir and Theoden from The Lord of the Rings. I read these the first time at age 11, but now, reading them as an adult, I find their deaths…hmmm…more crucial to the poignancy of the story. I still love all three, but their deaths were epic, heroic, and I think I’d let them stand. 

 

The rest of these, I read as an adult, and though saddened by their deaths, I see them as important to the story: Piggy from Lord of the Flies; Starbuck from Moby Dick; John Singer, the deaf mute, from The Heart is a Lonely Hunter; Nick Andros, also deaf mute, from The Stand; Lennie from Of Mice and Men.

 

And last (almost last), I come to Sydney Carton again, from A Tale of Two Cities…but how could I begrudge him his most noble act, his great peace. No!, Sydney died for something glorious; I shall neither deprive nor spare him. But the girl, the poor, frightened girl, who went to la guillotine with Sydney, an innocent victim of the mob’s bloodlust. Oh, my heart bled for her. If I can spare but one, it shall be her.


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12 comments:

  1. Great list! I might aspire to being Faramir, but I could see myself more hanging out with Bilbo (or Frodo).

    I really need to reread Tale of Two Cities, which I haven't read since high school...

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    1. it was better the second time around, as Dickens often is.

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  2. What a great list of noble, gentle, self-sacrificing and encouraging characters you've selected. How fitting that some should appear on both lists, and I was so pleased to see Sydney Carton get top honours. He deserves them!

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  3. I love your list and the twist with who you would safe is a nice touch. Aaah, Piggy from Lord of the flies. I think I still have nightmares every now and then.
    Wouldn't have thought of Nick Andros as a Classical Hero or even a favorite character, but how right you are.

    It's my first time stumbling upon your blog, don't think it will be the last though. I'm also in the Classics Club and saw your post there when I posted mine.

    Have a good weekend!

    Elza Reads

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  4. Apart from Lord of the rings, I haven't read any (but I have them on my shelves !). My favourite classic character is Jane Eyre, but who would I save ?........ I agree with your Lennie.

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    1. A lot of my fellow book bloggers dislike Of Mice and Men, but I find it poignant and heartbreakingly beautiful. I hurt for George as much as Lennie.

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  5. I read The Stand as a teenager and still vividly remember Nick’s death. He was my favorite character! I was kind of devastated.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Nick was my favorite too. I knew that not all the good guys were gonna make it, but I was unprepared for Nick's death.

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  6. So many great picks! D'Anconia is an interesting one: I tend to drift more towards Roark, but he was my introduction to Rand's thinking.

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    1. And then...I'd go with Dagny as well. Ironic we've name three before John Galt :)

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