Our differences make us (and our stories) more interesting

Think of your favourite fictional character. Got one? Good. What is it about them that grabs you? Chances are, you love that character because they are heroic, or eccentric, or tragically flawed. We are rarely interested in characters who have nothing going on, with no discernible personality or potential for change to speak of. Can you imagine if Jane Eyre never spoke her mind, or if Harry Potter was completely devoid of courage? Those stories would be so boring!

Even oranges have differences!

So this week, we are devoting our blog space to celebrating all the differences that make us interesting. If you think about it, the literary space is the perfect venue for this party. There are literally millions of books out there, each with different sets of characters, each with their own personalities, each a reflection of someone’s unique ideas. It’s amazing! Books are chronicles of our collective appreciation of how different human beings can be.

To kick it off, tweet, or post a comment here or on Facebook about your favourite fictional character and the things that make him, her or it different from all other characters.


6 responses to “Our differences make us (and our stories) more interesting

  1. My favourite fictional character? If we’re talking all media, it’s definitely Buffy. The combination of wit, tragic taste in men and the ability to save the world on a weekly basis are what make her brilliant. She’s flawed, she’s grumpy, she’s human, and she has superpowers and inner resources of courage and hope in the face of despair. This moment sums that up perfectly:

    If it’s books, then the Mayor in Chaos Walking. He exists on a fascinating line between cold-eyed sociopath and mentor-figure, an antagonist who’s nigh-on impossible to beat but who still forms emotional bonds with the other characters in his own twisted way. A dragon in human form, that’s how he comes across to me.

  2. Most interesting character I recently found is Cheyenne, Sean Penn’s character in the film This Must Be the Place – quiet and sad, sort of inscrutable until you see more of him, and he’s very lovely and brave.

    In books I love Captain Anstruther from The Great Galloon – a big character you aren’t sure how he’ll react but always ends up being fabulous and kind.

  3. Picking a single favorite character from all of media, especially fiction literature is quite daunting for me. For instance, do I pick Pudge from Looking for Alaska or Alaska herself? Wilbur or Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web? Do I pick Holden from Catcher in the Rye simply because of how accurately he portrays the world around him and the way he made me think?

    Do I pick a character that’s not entirely a developed character himself, such as The Illustrated Man from Ray Bradbury’s masterful short story collection?

    I could pick the Marquis De Carabas from Neverwhere, Fred & George from Harry Potter, Rorschach from Watchmen, The Marsh-Wiggle from The Silver Chair, Huckleberry Finn from the similarly titled book, Gollum from LoTR, Marvin from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Calcifer from Howl’s Moving Castle, or Charles Wallace from A Wrinkle in Time.

    Though I think if differences are what we are looking for, I would have to choose Kilgore Trout from Vonnegut’s many novels. The man is deeply flawed, eccentric, zany, a bit crazy, has the most insane ideas I’ve ever seen, and believes that all organic life, human or fungus growing on the walls, is worth the same.

    Regardless of how much I like the characters previously mentioned (and many more), I think Kilgore Trout is easily the definition for “different.”

  4. If we are talking characters from children’s lit. I have a lot of favorites, but I have to pin my choice down to Roald Dahl’s child heroine Matilda. This story is Dahl’s masterpiece, and the way Matilda sorts out her feckless parents and topples the dreadful Miss Trunchbull is an indisputeable triumph. How Matilda’s powers of telekenisis emerge from the power of her mind are is wonderful. And she goes to town on the shocking horrible people she meets without any malice. It’s just because she ‘can’ and see’s the need for justice to be done.
    Stanley Mills

  5. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you
    know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its
    a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same outcome.

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