It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today, she suggests talking about characters who remind us of ourselves. That’s kind of a hard topic for me. I am going to have to dig deep for that one. I think what’s more realistic is to list a few characters in whom I see parts of myself. Of course, as any 90s kid, Harry Potter is a series that I relate to tremendously. Thus many characters for this week will come from that universe. Nevertheless, I have several others as well – some from my childhood, some from more recent reads. Indeed, I was never really conscientious as a young reader whether or not I could truly relate to a character. That sentiment didn’t develop for me until much later in life. So, without much further ado, here is my list for this week (which somehow made it to top twelve). Characters are in no particular order but each one means a great deal to me.
Over the years and the many rereads, to whom I relate in Harry Potter has changed. Hermione, of course, has two characteristics that stand out to me and that I can relate to as much back then as today: she is bookish and she is fair. Not surprisingly, I am for sure bookish. But one of the things in life I feel strongly about is fairness and justice (I am a Hufflepuff after all). In fact, I had never related to her as much as when she founded S.P.E.W – I so would’ve done the same. I wish the books/movies would’ve featured more fellow Hufflepuffs. From the ones I encountered, I enjoy Tonks the most (especially now that I am an adult and understand the risks she took) and am able to relate to her because she is a little rebellious and outspoken. Her relationship with Lupin is a great one and I emulate to have this. Lupin is so courageous and cautious at the same time. He takes no unnecessary risks (maybe because when he turns into a werewolf he can’t control anything). I am for sure a cautious person but will turn up my courage when its called for. That brings me to Sirius who is so fiercely loyal it almost hurts. I’d say that might be one of my strongest characteristics. Sometimes, I am loyal to a fault, which pushes me to hold on to certain comforts much too long. Over time, my favorite HP character became Luna Lovegood. What I love about her is how unapologetically herself she is. I want to be more like her! Now as an adult (and with more insight into myself), I can also relate to Snape (who is my second favorite HP character). He is proud and hides behind a hard shell (something I’m known to do). He is hurt and embarrassed and covers this up with a tough act. But deep down, he is such an emotional and loyal being and you just want to scream at him to let that out and show the world. I really should take my own advice 😉
I relate to Jo (Little Wome) and Jane (Jane Eyre) because they are both stubborn and head-strong. Two characteristics I’ve heard about myself many times. That said strong will is a double-edged sword: sometimes it is just what you need and sometimes it puts you in the biggest of troubles. Alas, that’s my life! Jane also shows signs of ennui (which is a fun word btw!) and I have found myself with similar sentiments in the past.
One of the most recent characters that touched me because I saw myself in her so much is Elizabeth (The Poet X). Like her, I journaled all through high school, had (and still have) a hard time opening up to people, and present myself often with a very hard outer shell. And yet, what I (and her) most desire is for people to see us, see us how we truly are. I found this book incredibly powerful.
The reason why I relate to Vasya (The Winternight Trilogy) is her interaction with Dunya (the aging housekeeper) who tells her folktales and stories. These stay with her all her life and often end up helping her along the way. I had such a relationship with my Oma and Dunya reminds me of my grandma a lot. I too wonder “what would Oma do” often.
Momo is a book I read so many times as a child and even a teenager. Looking back, I must say I love her. Momo is just and imaginative. She is a visionary. She is smart and resourceful. She cares about others and wants to help where she can. I think I have those same tendencies. Momo is also every child. We all felt like adults weren’t listening to us. What we have to say as kids is important. I related to Momo because she ended up taking matters into her own hands and I had wished so many times I could do the same. During early childhood, I was a bit of a dreamer, living in books, and letting my imagination run free. Growing older, mostly through my teen years, my family situation undermined that at times but when I read Momo I could find my true self again in those pages. Reading it as an adult, I discovered that it is a great reminder to embrace your inner child and just live into the day sometimes.
Joan (Pope Joan) is a strong woman who fights for her ideals and believes. She is cunning. She is resourceful. I see myself in her because I too grew up being told folktales and pagan-inspired stories. I also ended up entering a male-dominated field. I am not religious but I certainly understand what it means to fight your way up. I like reading stories that incorporate this sentiment and Pope Joan was one of the first I encountered like that. I also like how she played the system and essentially beat the patriarchy with its own weapons. Her ultimate ending was tragic but that’s way more real than many final conclusions we encounter across other books.
Have you read any of these books and relate to any of these characters? I am looking forward to your lists this week. Leave your links in the comments!