It has been well established how much I enjoy reading but I thought I would talk about those characters that have truly resonated with me throughout my life. The problem with this idea is that there are so many characters that have inspired me that I will have to limit myself to the top five that really stand out to me.
Jo March (Little Women - Louisa May Alcott)
Although I was more like Beth I always loved Jo. She was feisty, strong willed and the first 'tomboy' character that I read about. I was also glad that she didn't end up with Laurie. They were too much alike and would have indulged each others bad points more than their good qualities. The Professor was a better match. Anyway, Jo was a writer, a day dreamer and far too head strong for her own good. (Which kind of sounds like me now...) She faced adversity and was prone to jealously. In my mind she was a well rounded character with faults that I could easily identify with.
Ender Wiggin (Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card)
Ender was somewhat of an inspiration to me. He made it okay for kids to be intelligent. I know that this sounds rather strange but here was a young boy who is forced into a situation that he really doesn't want to be in and he makes the most of it. He had to grow up very quickly in a 'war time' scenario and, even though he doesn't sound like a kid he still has vulnerabilities that make him human. He appeared to be quick to adapt to situations but he was just a child. I could go on and on but I really cannot do him justice in trying to explain why he is a hero of mine.
Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins)
I just finished re-reading this series and, once again, found myself admiring this character. Similar to Ender, Katniss is a young girl who is thrown into a dangerous game where her life is at stake. What makes her stand out is a similar theme for me. She has doubts, she is not perfect. Occasionally she can be selfish or jealous or angry. She feels emotions and isn't perfect, which makes her real. Plus, like Jo March, she is fiercely independent and relies on herself to survive a lot of the time.
Matilda (Matilda - Roald Dahl)
There are so many great characters that Dahl created and it is hard for me to narrow them down so I pretty much just chose the first one that popped into my mind. She is somewhat appropriate for this list as she is a reader, intelligent and, once again, plopped into an unfair situation from which she lets her true spirit shine through. Plus, she is funny. Because of how she was raised by her parents (and I use the term parents loosely) she develops an unique set of morals and ethics.
Shadow (American Gods - Neil Gaiman)
I have the feeling that Shadow is an odd addition to this list. He is the only 'adult' character in the list but there was something about the way he held himself and his entire journey that just seemed to stand out in my mind. He has attributes that I wished I had; namely the ability to stay quiet when needed. I have never been accused of being laconic although I wish I had. He appears to take everything in stride, which is something I wish I could do as well. Shadow is also a very complex character in my mind. He is difficult to describe and somewhat difficult to understand but he is a great character as well.
Now, this is a very short list and as I have been writing it I have a dozens of other characters demanding my attention in my head. It is amazing how writing about this great characters reminds me of many books that I haven't thought of in a long time.
I hope you have enjoyed this short list. (Maybe lists of five may be my theme...who knows.)
Peace and pancakes to everyone.