This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, sponsored by The Broke and The Bookish, are characters that remind me of myself. The top ten lists I’ve put together recently have been fun, but I especially appreciated this one. It made me go back over the years and relive some of my favorite reading experiences.
The first book I read in which I recognized a character that reminded me of myself was Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. No, I didn’t see myself in the title character, but in the narrator, Nick Carraway. In fact, many of the characters in which I’ve seen myself have been “side-kicks”. I would like to think that I’m the extremely loyal friend like Samwise Gamgee in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, but I admit that I have a jealous streak like Ron Weasley in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
Several characters in Chaim Potok’s novels, Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders in The Chosen and Asher Lev in My Name is Asher Lev and The Gift of Asher Lev, reminded me that I can question my faith (or worldview or life philosophy) without abandoning it.
Sal Paradise in Jack Kerouac’s On The Road would be me (for the most part) if I ever went “on the road” with a group of friends like he did with Dean Moriarty. The closest I ever came was Myrtle Beach during spring break in college – not exactly the same.
I’m probably too old to say that I see myself in J. D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye, not to mention it’s a little cliche, but when I was sixteen and reading the book? Absolutely!
Somewhere in E. M. Forster’s A Room With A View, Cecil Vyse says that some people in the world are only good for books – he rather pompously includes himself in this category. As much as I love books and while some of my friends might put me in Cecil’s category, I can’t say I see myself in him. At the same time, I’m not the free spirit that George Emerson appears to be, either. I saw myself more in the vicar, Mr. Beebe, with an ability to somehow combine the enjoyment of real life and books.
I don’t believe I’m as old as Santiago in Hemingway’s The Old Man and The Sea and I’m not much of a fisherman, but the older I get, it becomes easier to relate to this guy.
What characters remind you of you?