When you’re an avid reader some things can’t be avoided, like making one sided friendships with some fictional characters. So, which book characters would you most like to hang out with?
I for one don’t pay much attention to Valentine’s Day, and while I have many qualms with the “holiday”, one of my biggest problems is how utterly boring and predicable it can be. Everything is flowers, chocolates, teddy bears, candles, blah, blah, blah. But as I was thinking about the boring everyday gifts people will be receiving, I couldn’t help but wonder what imaginary characters from literature would give their paramours today.
So, let’s find out what some of our favorite literary characters would give as a romantic gift.
1. Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye
He hates how phony Valentine’s Day is but still tries to get you a drink from the bartender at least. Since he’s too young he winds up with nothing but the feeling that he was right to hate the phoniness in the air today.
2. Peter Pan from Peter Pan
It’s not exactly what you expected when you leaned in for a kiss, but you’ll take it.
3. Jean Valjean from Les Misérables
A loaf of bread
Don’t ask him where he got it. No you can’t exchange it because he doesn’t have the receipt.
4. Hannibal Lector from Silence of the Lambs
The cold shoulder
Yes I did just make that joke. Deal with it.
5. Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby
A relaxing drive out into the country
She of course will insist on driving.
6. Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit
Something small like a trinket or bauble
Just don’t expect him to put a ring on it.
7. Guy Montag from Fahrenheit 451
Just don’t show anyone or tell anyone where you got it.
8. Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series
Admittance to Hogwart’s
Muggle or not you’re in, and isn’t education the greatest gift of all.
9. Dr. Jekyll from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
One second you think he’s into you the next he seems like a totally different person.
10. Dante from The Inferno
A day together
It might not seem like much but he went through Hell just to be with his beloved.
11. Medusa from mythology
Sometimes the best gifts are the gifts you make yourself.
What’s your favorite literary character giving to their love today?
The Sherlockian Graham Moore
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter Seth Grahame-Smith
The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series James A. Owen
Nothing Like the Sun: A Story of Shakespeare’s Love Life Anthony Burgess
Jane Austen Mysteries series Stephanie Barron
It’s one thing for an author to create a fictional character, but another thing entirely for an author to become a fictional character. So take a minute and appreciate some novels and series that pull authors away from there historically accurate past and add a little fictional flair to their story.
There are plenty of fictional title characters that stand out in our literary memories. Jane Eyre, Oliver Twist, Carrie, Harry Potter, they all take center stage right in the title and their books revolve around their stories.
While I love the directness of a title character, the indirectly named title character can be a way of adding the question of importance to a character in your novel.
Questions naturally arise in a reader’s mind when there is an indirectly named title character. Titling a book based on the character’s occupation like Mario Puzo’s titular Godfather or through an association like D. H. Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover simultaneously draws attention to a character but takes some of that attention away at the same time. There are mysteries packed into these titles. Is Lady Chatterley more important than the lover? We do learn her name right in the title?
One of the books that drives home what an indirectly named title character can do is Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife. The title character, Clare Abshire, is important and a center part to the story, but it’s in her role as a wife and the issue of dealing with the fact that her husband is a time traveler.
It’s hard being left behind.”
“It’s hard to be the one who stays.”
How significant is Clare outside of her role as a wife? A time traveler’s wife? Niffenegger manages to put a lot of depth in just four words.
When used correctly, an indirect title character can get a reader thinking “is this character really important” or “why is this character important” before even reading page one. There we have yet another way how titles can be powerful tools for writers. If you enjoy an indirectly named title character, feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments.