Thursday, July 16, 2009

Which Character are You?

I finally saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince yesterday... and I couldn't get to sleep last night (or sleep past 6 this morning) from thinking about it. If you haven't seen it, though, don't worry. I'm adept at not spoiling the plot of movies. You won't find any clues in here about what goes on in the film.

I've always identified myself with Hermoine--book smart and loyal--yet I discovered while watching the film that I find links to many of the HP characters, even Dumbledore (perhaps it's the professor in me). The only character I consistently don't identify with is Ron Weasley. 

But this is not new. I find myself identifying with other characters in other books, too, in various ways. That is the magic of literature, a power writing has to create a fictive world which ties strongly to the real one we are living within, despite huge differences between worlds. I can feel, for a few hours, as if I am Harry Potter, undervalued, lonely, yet capable of great things. I can feel like Emma Bovary, unsatisfied with my world as it is, wondering how to make it better (even if I wouldn't make the choices she did in Flaubert's novel). It seems many readers identified themselves with Emma, and some claimed Flaubert wrote the novel based on them, yet when asked who Emma was, he said, "C'est moi." ("It is I.")

I may most identify with the main character of Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword, for she seems utterly ordinary, yet finds herself drawn, inexplicably, to a world far different than her known world... and others see the potential in her long before she realizes it herself (rather like Harry Potter). I also identify with Spider Man (yes, yes, I said it!), mainly because my talents are hidden to most people--both by chance and by my own design.

With whom do you identify? What characters are most like you? Feel free to choose any book or film you like, or several characters from several books or films, but tell me what characters resemble you. Perhaps we have a few characters in common.


  1. The list is long. I'm going to think about it.

  2. Hermoine and Snape in the HP series.... don't know that I identify with Snape, actually ...but he is clearly my favourite character

  3. i just watched it... and i must say that i hate movie producers, they know how to ruin a good book....i hate when they take liberties, that is all i will say for now, just incase others have not watched it yet....

    the char i would connect with most would be draco, that is how i would have acted when i was younger... full of hate and looking for trouble. now i feel close to ron and harry...
    my fav char was S. Black i hated to see him go, he was awesome.

  4. If I see a movie or a book I'm willing to watch more than once, chances are there's a character I identify with.

    I indentified with Edward, for example, in the Twilight series (and my husband JUST doesn't get that), Haruhatsu, Yuki, Momiji and Tohru in Fruits Basket, ALL of the Ouron Host Club except Haruhi, Miri and Shan in the Liaden series...the list goes on forever. Naturally, since they're all a bit of me, the characters in my own novels.

    Heck, I tear up when I watch that bit in The Incredibles where Elastigirl wraps herself around her children when her plane gets blown up, every time. I feel like I can imagine exactly how she feels.

  5. flit: I agree with you about Snape... he's not me, but I understand his motives, and I can see his pain in a way that makes him very real.

    Jeff: Dude, I hear you, but I'm a bit less of a purist. I wasn't blown away by what they did with the ending of the sixth book (but, like you, I'll keep my comments vague--I HATE being the spoiler). I try not to reread the book before I see the movie. Instead, I watch the films leading up to it (although I couldn't do that this time). The hubby wants to watch #5 again, though, and then maybe we'll watch the next one together? I love both the films and the books, but for completely different reasons. And my husband is still devastated by the death of Sirius Black.

    Stephanie: You pick up on the meaning of this blog perfectly... the reason so many books and films work for us is that we can identify with many characters, not just one. I think many of us moms can identify with Elastigirl... I do when she's calling her hubby for help when the kids are fighting (or for dinner). I get choked up every time they fight at the end, and he says he's afraid to lose her, that he's "not strong enough" to take that. Lovely.

    After seeing ENCHANTED, I realize that I have a character far more like me than anything--Giselle reminds me far too much of me when I was younger, transitioning into the me now. Several old friends who saw it said they were amazed that Disney had made a movie about me.

  6. Odd, I didn't think about you at all when I saw Enchanted. No offense. I didn't think I'd seen anyone I knew in there. Just goes to show.