Monday, June 16, 2008

My favourite literary characters!

Shyam asked me to do a very interesting tag, the name of which I have shortened to "List your ten favourite characters from literature." So here they are!

Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird; Author: Harper Lee) - THE man. Smart, caring, bold, stands up for what he thinks is right, and a great father - in my view, he is the best character to have walked the literary earth.

Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice; Author: Jane Austen) - The dashing gentleman - rich, handsome, proud, wronged and misunderstood, but comes out smelling of roses at the end. I read this book in my teens, and I was head over heels in love with this character.

Rhett Butler (Gone with the Wind; Author: Margaret Mitchell) - Oh, he is wicked, he is dashing, he is smart - and he totally enjoys his life - without any qualms. The man who can sweep anybody off her feet. I don't really remember "liking" this character, but I waited eagerly for passages with him in the book, and I guess that makes him a "favourite"!

Mma Precious Ramotswe (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series; Author: Alexander McCall-Smith). The very likable protagonist of The No.1 Ladies Detective series. She is firm, opinionated, independent, capable, brave, and intelligent. And supremely contented with life - except when there is a mystery to solve!

Treebeard (The Lord of the Rings; Author: JRR Tolkien) - An "Ent". The most interesting creature that I have encountered in fiction. Ancient, huge, tree-like, slow and measured, and most of all, fascinating.

Jeeves (Jeeves series; Author: P.G.Wodehouse) - The perfect butler. Poker faced, brilliant, just-so. The perfect foil to his bumbling employer Bertie Wooster (who is also a wonderful character). I absolutely love the way Jeeves gets Bertie to give up a piece of garment that Jeeves find jarring, by just giving his employer the cold shoulder, and by refusing to fish him out of trouble.

Mark Thackeray (To Sir With Love; Author: E.R.Braithwaite) - He is smart, he is intelligent, and he knows just how to win the most difficult people over. Without any effort at all. And what a teacher he is, how patient, how understanding! It also helps that I absolutely loved Sydney Poitier in the movie of the same name.

Miss Marple (Miss Marple series; Author: Agatha Christie) - The tiny, fragile, mildmannered old lady with the sharp brain. I love how she sits in her armchair and solves mysteries just by comparing the events with seemingly harmless occurences in her countryside village.

O-lan (The Good Earth; Author: Pearl S.Buck) - The strong-willed, hardworking wife of Wang Lung. I read this novel too long ago for me to give you a reasonable character sketch, but I remember being very impressed with her.

Heidi (Heidi; Author: Johanna Spyri) - One of my all-time favourite characters, from a novel I loved as a child. Heidi is this adorable, bubbly little girl who goes to live with her Grandpa in his house in the Alps. Such a feel-good story. And there was a fabulous animated series on Cartoon Network on Heidi. Very well-made, with the most beautiful music. I still hum with pleasure the title song, after all these years. [I just did a search on youtube, and to my utter delight, I found the opening music, and the very lively and lovely closing music - my personal favourite - too. I am listening to it over and over again and feeling young and restless again! :)]

Ah! That was one of the most enjoyable tags ever. I'm sure some of you would enjoy doing it, or rather, I would like to read your choices. Ano, Devaki, Anil, Anu, Chitra, Poppins, my2cents, Usha, would you like to try?

And any other book-crazy person out there, please pick up this tag! I assure you, it's a lot of fun.


Poppins said...

Oooh what a beautiful tag. I am so tempted to do it, even though I really don't do tags anymore (too much pressure ;)

If I don't, I'll come and do it in your comment space can I? :)

Altoid said...

What a novel idea! I concur on so many of your picks-Atticus Finch(for sure!), Darcy, Rhett Butler, Mma Ramotswe and Miss. Marple...that makes it 50%!

Good one.

shyam said...

I knew you'd enjoy doing this one, Shruthi :) Nice list. I like Treebeard too - the whole concept of Ents is fantastic, but I had to put Sam first. He's such an unassuming hero :)

Veena Shivanna said...

ondu kannada pustaka illa...? Honestly, couldn't connect anything you mentioned here shruthi. Though I read quite a lot of books prof! Novels/Fiction - I end up decorating in my book shelf, the last one was Emma and Catch 22.. :-)

Adu said...

Great tag. Since i don't have a blog, I'll respond on this one :) Jane Eyre, Phileas Fogg (Around the World in 80 Days), Ramona (Beezus and Ramona), Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice), Sydney Carton (A Tale of Two Cities), Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing), Jo March (Little Women) and of course, Mr. Darcy.

I see a trend :)

Jennifer said...

I love your choice of Atticus Finch! I also love that story and have seen the movie also. Very nice.

Your choices intrigue me. I believe you are blogging from India. I am not familiar with Indian literature, but which characters in Indian literature would you choose?

Anu said...

Whoa! Why are you dangling this juicy bait at the entrance to my burrow? Can't let me rest in peace, can you!? Alright.... will be done in the next couple of hours.

Shruthi said...

Poppins: Be my guest!

Altoid: Wow, why don't you do a complete list on your blog?

Shyam: I put Sam in the list first, but then I decided I like Treebeard better :D

Veena: I am ashamed to say that the number of Kannada books I have read is minuscule compared to the number of English books I have read , and though I have come across some interesting characters, none of them have stayed on in my head.

Adu: Thanks a lot! Phileas Fogg! I like him a lot too! And yes, Jo March too. I am sure there are tons of others like them that I could have added in the list :)

Jennifer: I can state for the record, that I like Indian English authors way better than western authors, simply because I relate to them better. But to pick a favourite character among them is not easy, because none of them have impressed me too much.

For example, I love RK Narayan and adore Ruskin Bond. But besides Ruskin Bond himself, none of the characters in their books catch me by the collar and arrest me. This is no reflection of their writing, it is just that none of them appealed to me.
Take Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth, Jhumpa Lahiri..... none of their books that I have read have arresting characters.

NAipaul's Mr. Biswas has a strong characterization, but he is weak and hardly likeable.

Rohinton Mistry - now that is different. Jehangir of Family Matters very nearly came on my list. Dina Dalal of A Fine Balance is also a contender, but not quite close. That is about it.

Anu: Can't wait!

Sachin said...

Lovely post and nice tag! Ya, I picked it up and posted it today. So do visit. Its a new record for me, 2 posts in 2 days (thanks to you for one tag idea)!!! Wish I could be as regular as you are though! :)

And good to see you responding to comments. Keep at it, cheers!

Adu said...

hmm...would karna count as an indian literary character?

Emma said...

Nice tag - and a lot of characters who would be on my list too, especially the first few.

Devaki said...

My favorite tag so far, thanks for thinking of me Shruthi!

And yes, the list is being compiled. Will require careful thought, hence the delay!

dumbo said...

hey! m back!
even i'll respond
azazel-(red devil from isaac asimovs magic)
janson-(the protagonist from the janson directive by robert ludlum)
captain nemo-(jules verne's 20 thousand leagues under the sea)
oliver twist-(charles dickens)
fred and george-(harry potter series, j. k. rowling)
inspector bezu fache-(da vinci code, dan brown)
calvin(from the comic strip calvin and hobbes)
jeeves(p.g wodehouse)
tristan-(from james herriot's books)

dumbo said...

btw akshay here!
my dad has started writing a blog-

Prashanth M said...

Wonderful tag!!

Have read only To Kill a Mockingbird from this list..

Usha said...

Brings back so many memories and makes me want to read some of them again. YOu appropraite 4 of my favourites and still expect me to do the tag. hmf...ok, done. :)

Devaki said...

Done! :-)

Shruthi said...

Sachin: Tag well done, and hope to see continued blogging :)

Adu: Karna would be, yes!

Emma: And the rest? Would you like to try out the tag? :)

Devaki: Nice selection! Saw your tag :)

Dumbo: ohhh you are akshay! So good to hear about mama's blog. And liked your list... calvin, tristan, yes, yes!!

Prashanth M: Do try your own list, its fun!

Usha: I liked your take of the tag... inspired me to do something like that.. on movies... on serials...

rajk said...

Hey, thanks for tagging me..I've been wracking my brains for fodder...I'd love to do this one!!

rajk said...

Just finished it!!

lavanya said...

I love all the characters too except the last two.The last two maybe bec i haven't known them yet. I read "Gone With The Wind" and am still in the hangover with Rhett butler :) .

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