Tuesday, February 24, 2009

If you could live the life of a book character, what would it be?

This question came streaming through Twitter the other day:[1]

If you could live the life of a book character, what would it be?
When I read this, I had a number of individuals immediately come to mind: wise Gandalf, valiant Aragorn and High King Peter Pevensie. As soon as I thought of them, they did not fit too well with my own personality and I rejected them almost immediately. These personalities were all highly visible, public leaders and fighters. While it is exciting to think about living their lives of magic, intrigue and swash-buckling action, they do not fit intrinsically with whom I am.

When I realized I needed to filter this way, two other characters immediately popped into mind, both of which fit better with my own self-perception: Professor Digory Kirke and Dr. Elwin Ransom. Both these characters were reluctant heroes in their respective stories. A scheming Uncle first forced Young Digory into his destiny through some "science" experiments. Two calculating acquaintances kidnapped Dr. Ransom while on holiday, kicking off his interplanetary adventures. Both overcame the obstacles thrown into their path, not through strength of arms, but by right thinking, right morals and dogged perseverance.

So, who would you be?

For more information on these characters, Wikipedia has articles on each: Gandalf, Aragorn, Peter Pevensie, Professor Digory Kirke and Dr. Elwin Ransom.

1. Sorry, I do not remember who posted it or I would give credit where it is due.


  1. live the life of a book character. Frodo Baggins came to mind for me. But Sam has so many of the qualities that I crave to exhibit: loyalty, fierce friendship, servanthood, determination, humility.

    Ransom is an interesting choice, but my personality fits with... what is the man's name who is trying so hard to be part of the "in" crowd, who goes through such amazing changes in the Space Trilogy? The central figure of That Hideous Strength...he starts out so insecure and striving, and full of himself and SO unhappy, and ends with humility and more empty of himself and mindful of his wife.

    Any character who goes through positive changes...THAT is the character whose life I would like to live. :)

  2. "What is the man's name who is trying so hard to be part of the "in" crowd, who goes through such amazing changes in the Space Trilogy?"

    That would be Mark Studdock.

    Frodo and Sam both have great qualities. I find the conversation at the end of the second movie interesting (I'm pretty sure it's not in the book) where Sam and Frodo are talking about their adventure and their roles. Frodo wouldn't have made it without Sam's encouragement and support. The qualities in Sam wouldn't have been revealed except for the trials they go through. I think everyone needs both a Frodo and Sam in their lives.

    I find it curious that no other characters from any other of the large number of books I've read came to mind, even when I was purusing my shelves reminding myself of different stories.


Comments are welcome but I do moderate them. This is simply to keep things wholesome for general family viewing. By default, comments will be accepted. The few things that will cause a comment to be rejected are:

1. It is too long even though it may be well-written and make interesting points. It's supposed to be a comment, not an essay. If you have that much to say, write a blog article and backlink to me.

2. It is nasty, impolite or uses language that is unacceptable.

3. It includes a a link that has a typo or is broken in some other way.

4. It should have been sent as an e-mail since it is clearly addressed to me and does not appear to have been intended for other readers.

5. It is blatantly self-promotional. This does not mean it can't be self-promotional at all, but it should add some value over and above the marketing.