"Will you please call me Cordelia?"
Anne Shirley, one of the most well known characters in fiction. A fiery red head with an enormous imagination, a mouth that runs nonstop, and a penchant for getting herself into scrapes. I've loved Anne of Green Gables for I don't even know how long. I've read the entire series multiple times, and never seem to tire of it. Anne is just such an interesting character. It does help that I'm a lot like her...
Anne is an orphan. She wants a family, she wants raven black hair, and a bosom friend. When she finds out she is to be adopted, it seems too good to be true. And, in a way, it sort of is. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert intended to adopt a boy, but they got Anne instead. Though at first they didn't want to keep her, soon they can't imagine life without her.
Anne loves life. She loves beautiful things, like The Lake of Shining Waters and The White Way of Delight. She has a rich and fancy vocabulary that she uses frequently as it seems practically impossible for her to keep her tongue still for any length of time. Diana Barry is a kindred spirit. They become bosom friends immediately, though troubles come when Anne accidentally "sets Diana drunk" by giving her currant wine instead of raspberry cordial by mistake.
For Anne makes a lot of mistakes. Like the time she dyed her hair green, the liniment cake, the mouse in the pudding, the unfortunate lily maid. And there are times where her pride got her into trouble, like when Josie Pye dared her to walk the Barry's ridgepole and she fell off. Though I'm not sure even that compares to the time she broke her slate over Gilbert Blythe's head after he called her "carrots" and then refused to speak to him for five years...considering she eventually married him. Many of Anne's mistakes are due to her imagination taking over from reality. Some scrapes are due to her hot temper. I have had more than my share of mistakes and forgetfulness from distraction by imagination, and my temper certainly got me in lots of trouble when I was little.
Anne is smart, and her competitive nature makes her fight to best Gilbert Blythe when they are at Queen's together. And at Redmond. Because Anne's adventures don't end where Anne of Green Gables does. Even when she is older she gets herself into scrapes, like the time she sold the neighbor's cow. Eventually (it takes until book three) Anne realizes she loves Gilbert, and begins a new chapter of her life, one that is followed by the rest of this classic series.
L. M. Montgomery is an amazing author. She creates such memorable and well-rounded characters, living among realistic people with all manner of quirks and peculiarities. Anne is not a character one can forget. That bright, imaginative, and dramatic redhead will forever be an inhabitant of my imagination.
"Like and equal are not the same thing at all!"
Meg Murry is one of the characters I've known for the longest time. She is the protagonist of one of my top childhood favorite books, and is another one of the few characters whose story I have acted out. I love Meg Murry, not because she's perfect, but because she's so relatably flawed.
Meg has a hard time with life. She's different from everyone else, and so few people like her. She's brilliant when it comes to math and science, but when it comes to English and geography, forget it. On top of that, her dear little brother Charles Wallace (oh, how I wanted a brother like him) is super brilliant and can know what she's thinking, but doesn't talk outside the family, and so people think he's stupid. Meg isn't pretty. She has very plain mousy brown hair, braces and glasses. I remember my glasses and braces phase. It's certainly an awkward one. But that's not even all. While doing government work, her father disappeared. Without a trace. No one knows anything. Or at least, no one is telling Meg's family. Because what he did was Top Secret.
And then strange things begin to happen. With the arrival of Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe, a boy from school, set out to rescue Meg's father. But to rescue him, they have to travel to other planets by way of the tesseract and encounter IT on the planet Camazotz. And in doing so, they become fighters against evil, doing their part to defeat the Black Thing, the powers of darkness, as we all must do.
Meg is fearful. Who wouldn't be? But she is also impatient and stubborn. And when IT, via the Man With Red Eyes, takes control of Charles Wallace, Meg has to be braver than ever before. But it is through this that she begins to realize that it is good to be different. That like and equal are not the same thing.
Her struggles are not yet over. Finding her father doesn't make things immediately better, as she thought it would. If anything, they're worse. Charles Wallace is gone. The Black Thing almost takes her as they tesser through it. And she blames her father for not making it all better. When the Mrs. W's return and bring the news that Meg is the only one who can rescue Charles Wallace, she doesn't take the news willingly. Slowly she realizes her mistakes. And she understands that she really is the only one who can save Charles Wallace, with the thing she has that IT hasn't got. What does IT not have? Meg discovers it to be love. Love. Love for her baby brother. Love for all the people she cares about. Loving her baby brother is the only thing that can save him. And that love brings them home.
Meg Murry learns some hard lessons. She learns what a good vs. evil fight really is. She learns that it's not wrong to be different and that everyone shouldn't be exactly alike. She gains friends, Calvin in particular. She gets her father back. She has Charles Wallace still with her. The fight isn't over. Meg still has her impatience and stubbornness to deal with. But she will be able to fight evil in every way she can.
Yes, I'm back to Resistance again. It's a great book with some really great characters. My favorite character is Kyrin Altair. She's the main girl in Ilyon Chronicles, and the one I relate to the best. She is one of the handful of characters whose story I have acted out in my bedroom. I like to do that, but the characters who have made it to that are few. Resistance spoilers follow.
Kyrin has an unusual ability that places her in service to Emperor Daican: She remembers everything. Ever since she was four, she has remembered everything that happened. She and her twin brother Kaden are both very smart, and so they were taken from their home at a young age and brought to Tarvin Hall, the emperor's school for exceptional children. All Kyrin and Kaden had was each other, so they were very close. I want a Kaden. He's a great brother. Kyrin depends on him a great deal.
Though young, Kyrin is chosen to be in direct service to Emperor Daican. She is required to "read" people, to tell Daican if people lie to him, or if he is in danger. It may not seem like a bad job, but when one considers that Daican is an idol worshiper who will kill people for faith in the one true God, you realize what Kyrin is really being asked to do.
Kyrin in the palace. She is insecure, hates the fancy dresses and make-up they insist she wears, is trying to figure out if Daican really is who they thought he is or if he is the kind personable man he acts like, hiding her faith, and bearing with the guilt of seeing people in dire circumstances and doing nothing to help them. One incident in this section of the book really resonated with me. Prince Daniel vented his frustration about his father to Kyrin, even going so far as to voice doubt about Aertus and Villai, the false gods Daican makes everyone worship. She was presented with the perfect opportunity to tell Daniel about Elom, the true God, but she was scared, and she missed it. She feels terrible about it. It always makes me remember the time I had an opportunity to share the Gospel with my cousin and didn't because I was too scared.
But when her faith was tested, Kyrin stood up for it. Though she faced death, she held firm. I can only hope I would be as brave. It was not the end for her. Though she faced execution, Elom provided a way out. She became a refugee, but going to Trask's refugee camp presented her with a new mission: Jace.
Kyrin always wanted to help those less fortunate. Her care of little Meredith at Tarvin Hall was a part of that, something else to which I can relate. I'm always wanting to help take care of children, and there are many people with whom I wish I could share my life because theirs is miserable. Jace evoked that sympathy in Kyrin. He was different from everyone, being half ryrik, and despised. He hated himself for it. He was mourning the deaths of two people very dear to him, and struggling with an immense amount of doubt as to whether he even had a soul. Kyrin saw him struggling and was moved to help him. He needed her, he really did, and she needed him.
And that isn't quite the end of Resistance, and certainly not the end of her story, since there are five more books to come.
I think I like Kyrin so much because I see so much of myself in her. She is a well rounded character. She isn't perfect, but she's kind and compassionate, brave and faithful, and a character whose full story I can't wait to read.
The primary reason I like a story is generally the characters. Doctor Who is no exception. Actually, I liked the characters before I started liking the show itself . . . strange, because the show revolves around the changing of characters. But the one character that is the same, though he changes his face and, to some degree, his personality, is the Doctor. Doctor Who? No, just the Doctor. And he's quite an interesting character at that. Note: I haven't seen much Classic, and I can't yet watch Twelve, so I'll be focusing on the ones I do know, Nine, Ten, and Eleven.
"I give you air from my lungs."
"I'm really glad that worked. Those would have been terrible last words."
"Rose Tyler, you were fantastic. And you know what? So was I."
Nine was the first Doctor I knew. He was the Doctor. Having regenerated out of the Time War, he had a lot of pain to deal with. He was funny and quirky and alien, saving people all throughout time and space, but underneath, there was something darker, a time he deeply regretted. He tried to bury it, but meeting a Dalek brought the Doctor's ghost to the forefront. He destroyed his people to end the Time War. Rose, and the viewer (unless you have spoilers or I just missed something) didn't really know much about the Doctor's past before this. He doesn't like to talk about it, why would he? but having it out in the open makes it easier for him to heal. And Rose Tyler was there to help him. And she could, because he loved her. In the end, it was love that caused him to regenerate. When Rose absorbed all the energy of the Time Vortex by looking into the Heart of the TARDIS, Nine sacrificed himself to save her. It was because of love he regenerated, and that love defined the man he became.
"[Time is] more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey . . . stuff."
"I don't want to go."
I have to admit, Ten is my favorite. I love all the Doctors I know, but Ten is still my favorite. He is more sympathetic than Nine, he is funnier, and so much happier. He has Rose. He still deeply regrets his actions during the Time War and mourns his people, but he is able to be happy with Rose, having adventures and saving countless lives . . . until Canary Wharf. "Doomsday:" one of the saddest episodes ever. The Doctor, Rose, Mickey, parallel Pete, and even Jackie a little tiny bit, successfully stop an invasion of Earth by the cybermen and Daleks. Unfortunately, events transpire so that Rose and her family are trapped in a parallel world and the Doctor is not.
Throughout the next series especially, the Doctor mourns Rose. It's hard for him to go on. He lost the girl he loves. He has Martha with him because he is lonely, but she can't replace Rose, nor should she. He still manages to be quirky and hilarious, while mourning Rose, but there are times when it really gets to him. He is better with Donna, they get along well, are just friends, and can really be funny together. They're especially funny when they meet Agatha Christie. But he has not forgotten Rose, or the terrible things he has done in the past. As the parallel worlds collide and the Daleks attempt to destroy all of reality with a reality bomb, all of the Doctor's companions (the ones who appear in the new show up to this point) come back to help him, even Rose. He is so happy to see Rose again, but she can't stay forever. A half human version of the Doctor is created by a human/Time Lord biological meta-crisis with Donna and the Doctor's hand, full of regeneration energy. Born in battle, as Nine was, the human Doctor kills all the Daleks, though the Doctor would have preferred to fix things without bloodshed. The human Doctor has to stay with Rose in the parallel universe, because he needs her, as Nine did. The real Doctor is then forced to be alone . . . Martha, Mickey, Sarah Jane, and Jack all have lives of their own to go live, and the meta-crisis caused Donna's memories of the Doctor to have to be erased so her brain wouldn't burn up. The Doctor doesn't do well alone, which meant he started to go crazy, which developed into the Eleventh Doctor.
"Beans are evil!"
"This is a fez. I wear a fez now. Fezzes are cool."
"I will always remember when the Doctor was me."
I've seen many things saying Nine is a tiger, Ten is Tigger, and Eleven is an uncoordinated cat who falls off the sofa and then claims he meant to do that. He really is that way. Eleven is crazy and goofy. But that's his way of burying the past, as he confesses in "The Day of the Doctor." He has a fresh start at life with Amy Pond, then brings her fiance Rory along to keep from breaking up their relationship. Which works, since they get married. He gets more careless, it sometimes seems that Amy and Rory have to look out for him instead of the other way around. And he runs. All the Doctors run, it's one of their favorite things to say, but Eleven even runs from his own death. And, though a fixed point in time, he manages to fake it anyway, and get married to River Song, Amy and Rory's daughter.
He has another bout of depression after he loses Amy, Rory, and River, which Clara, the Impossible Girl, helps to pull him out of. Then he goes back to the Time War, with the Tenth Doctor and the War Doctor. And he doesn't destroy Gallifrey, but instead sends it out of our universe. After that, though, he ends up living for hundreds of years in one town, protecting its people. Finally, he regenerates again. I can't wait to find out what Twelve is like, coming after living hundreds of years to protect one town, and thus the universe.
So, why do I like the Doctor? He's funny and quirky, he has a soft heart (well, two of them, actually), and he's a hero, though trouble follows him wherever he goes. He's lonely, and so I feel sorry for him, but he helps people and makes people love him. Except the mums. They tend to slap him. "All the mums!" (Though Jackie Tyler did like him later.) And . . . he's the Doctor.
I was wavering between The Doctor and Flynn Ryder for my next character post, but, Lord willing, my sisters, and friend, and I are going to see the movie of The Giver tomorrow, so I decided Jonas would go next. However, if you have not read The Giver, PLEASE do not read this post. I love spoilers, but the full effect of The Giver is dependent on it being unspoiled. Go read the book...really, do...and then come back. Due to that, I will give ample warning of spoilers from the sequels.
Jonas is just like any other boy in the Community. He goes to school, volunteers around the Community, and looks forward to the Ceremony of Twelve where he will be assigned a role in the Community. But yet, Jonas is not like everyone else. He has the ability to See Beyond, first manifesting itself as an ability to see color in a colorless world. And this ability to See Beyond is what enables him to become the next Receiver of Memory.
As he receives memories of Elsewhere and before the Sameness, and knowledge of true emotions, Jonas begins to see that the "perfect" Community he grew up in, is really far from perfect. But at first it's the joy. The true joy and love that everyone is missing. Jonas wants to share it with his friends. He wants Asher to see color. He wants his sister Lily to know that there really were animals once. And he wants to be able to make choices.
At this point, Jonas still believed in what he had been taught. That it's dangerous to let people make their own choices. But still, he has inner conflict over it all. He knows the joys that are missing. He wants to be loved by his family. And he realizes that without true pain and sadness, one cannot truly have happiness and love. He tries to justify the Community, but it's just that: justifying. And I know that if a thing has to be justified, it's probably not a good thing.
And then he learned what Release really is. Death of the undesirable. The Old, who have lived their lives. The repeat rule-breakers. The newchildren who fail to thrive properly. It was the Release of the twin newchild that really woke Jonas up to how bad the Community really was. But he didn't want to stand passively by and see it continue to happen. Jonas cared. He and the Giver were the only ones who could care. And he does do something. He rescued Gabriel from Release and let the Memories he held escape.
I'm not sure why Jonas stands out. Some books fade from memory soon after being read. Some books I still remember the story, but the characters fade away. Jonas hasn't done that. Maybe it's because you really experience everything with him. Funny how an author can create that in 3rd person past tense. (Just so you know, I hate present tense narrative.) The Giver is a powerful story. Jonas is the perfect character to experience it through. Because despite believing the lies, he is good. He knows right from wrong, and wrongs really affect him. The horror of war affects him so that he cannot allow the other Twelves to play war, meaningless though it is to them. And he wants love returned to the world. You feel that yearning with him, that horror when you realize his parents don't even know the meaning of the word "love."
Messenger and Son SPOILERS
Jonas's story doesn't end with The Giver. He finds a new home, with people who have love and freedom. Jonas has become the Leader of his new home, because he has the qualities necessary to be a true leader. Not a dictator, but a Leader. And he even gets married and has at least two kids. (I hope he has more, but it doesn't say.) Things aren't always perfect. Matty gives his life to heal the forest. Gabriel has to defeat the Trademaster. And of course, Jonas still suffers the consequences of having lived in the Community as a child. It's impossible for it not to have affected him. But still, Jonas gets a happy ending.
END Messenger and Son SPOILERS
The last three books aren't as good as the first, naturally, and they somewhat spoil the effect of the ending of The Giver, but I got attached to Jonas and wanted to know what else happened to him. Because when you have experienced the disillusionment of this "perfect world" with Jonas, you cannot help feeling that he is a part of your life now.
"Even a traitor may mend. I have known one that did."
Edmund is my favorite Pevensie. I like the others, but there's something about Edmund that makes me like him best.
When The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe begins, Edmund is a jerk and a bully, particularly towards Lucy. When she finds Narnia, he has to torment her about it, and when he discovers it is real, he is worse, lying about the fact that he had been there too. Yet he gets worse. Once all the Pevensies are in Narnia, he goes to the White Witch and tells her where his siblings are, betraying them to the very person who wants to kill them.
Why, you may ask, is this Edmund one of my favorite characters? Because the story doesn't end there. As Edmund travels with the Witch, he begins to see her for who she really is, and repents of his traitorous deeds. He wants to get back to his family, but being rescued and brought to Aslan's camp still isn't enough. Aslan had a talk with Edmund which no one else heard, which truly changed him. But to complete it all, because of Edmund's treachery, the Deep Magic from the dawn of time required blood as atonement. Aslan sacrificed himself for Edmund, and came back to life due to the Deeper Magic from before the dawn of time. Edmund was truly changed after this whole experience, so much so that when he was a king of Narnia, after he helped to stop Rabadash's attack at Anvard and they were discussing what to do with him, he said, "But even a traitor may mend. I have known one that did." Even though Rabadash's grand scheme was to kidnap his sister, Susan, and force her to become his wife, Edmund was still willing to show him mercy, for the mercy showed him by Aslan.
Edmund obviously felt bad for the way he treated Lucy. In Prince Caspian, when the children disputed whether to go where Lucy had seen Aslan, or follow their own path, Edmund sided with Lucy. He even says it is because of what had happened the last time, and that Lucy had been right then. Later, he's the second one of the party to see Aslan, before Peter, even.
The movies leave much to be desired, but one thing they get right is Edmund. (Prince Caspian gets Peter all wrong, and it's aggravating, but he's not the subject of this post.) He is a repentant traitor, who mends his relationship with his sister so well that they become very close. Indeed, the relationship between Anne and Edmund Rubin was influenced by Edmund and Lucy. He isn't perfect, he sometimes gets cranky and he isn't as patient as Lucy, but once his positive character arc is complete, he doesn't reset. He never goes back to being a traitor. He isn't free from temptation, Deathwater Island shows that, but he can overcome it.
I think I like Edmund because he's easy to identify with. I never was a traitor, but I was a brat. People who have only known me as a teenager have a hard time believing that, but it's true. I was bad, and I did have to reform. I'm not perfect now, but I'm working at it. Edmund shows that a traitor may indeed mend, with Aslan's help, and that's something we all can benefit from.
I've moved my blog over to Blogger. You can find all the same content you can here plus much more at www.morganhuneke.blogspot.com
I am a 19 year old home-school graduate and a Christian children's book author. I'm involved in politics, and I play the violin. I make a lot of my own clothes and I love taking care of children. I generally blog about my books, but I also have an indefinitely running series on my favorite fictional characters. My friends' very awesome books seem to pop up around here quite often. I rarely post reviews here anymore, but my sisters and I regularly review books and movies at ShireReviews.blogspot.com I hope you enjoy your time here on my blog!