24 May 2010

Weekly Geeks: A Character Comparison

Weekly Geeks

For this week's task, let's take a close look at some of our favorite bookish characters. Specifically, think of a character that you really relate to, a character that you think you could jump right in the story and actually be, a character that you think the author might know you because it comes so close to who you are! List for us the traits of that character that you feel closely resembles yourself. If you feel like there's several characters that fit the bill, list them all! Why not!

On the flip side, you can also share with us a favorite character that is the complete opposite of you. Maybe it's a character that you would never get along with, or one that would drive you crazy if you met them. Maybe it's someone who has completely different values, opinions or personality than you. Again, make a list of these traits that you feel are totally incompatible to yourself.

Finally, you can also tell us about a character that you wish you could be more like. Tell us what traits of this character you'd like to possess and why.

The character who could be me is the second Mrs de Winter from Rebecca. We have so much in common! We each have a very uncommon first name that is impossible for the overwhelming majority of people to spell or pronounce, and are stunned when someone actually gets it right without assistance. She goes unnamed for the entire book; I use my name as little as I can manage, because I hate it.

We’re both shy and mousy little things, lacking in social poise, quick to assume that anyone who comes near us must want to speak to the person beside us. Neither of us know what to do when confronted with the malice of a person like Mrs Danvers. In a grand country house like Manderley, I’d be just as out of my depth as she. since she eventually found her feet, so perhaps there’s hope for me yet.

I also relate is Anne Elliot of Persuasion. We’re both accustomed to being overlooked and ignored, even by most of our own relatives. We’re resigned to a certain lack of beauty. And when spoken to by someone older and supposedly wiser, we’re both prone to believe that they are right and we are wrong. (That last trait makes me wonder if I mightn’t have been a little too well-brought up!)

A favourite character who is my total opposite is Phryne Fisher from Kerry Greenwood’s mystery series. Phryne is a 1920s flapper, with plenty of family money behind her, who likes fashion and fast cars and daring adventures. I have clothes in my wardrobe that are 10 years old and would far rather read about daring adventures than experience them!

The character I’d like to resemble more - in some ways! - is Becky Sharp of Vanity Fair. She identifies what she wants and goes after is with no regrets, and without wondering whether or not she deserves it. (Indeed, she seems to assume that she is entitled to whatever she can get.) Even when she’s down, she’s never defeated, always able to believe that her fortunes are bound to revive. I could do without her conniving ways and her willingness to plot elopements with other people’s husbands, but I’d love some of her confidence and optimism.


  1. My first name is uncommon too but I still use it!


    Weekly Geeks: Comparison

  2. I'm only familiar with Anne Elliot.
    I have items in my wardrobe that are 10 years old also....lol. Those are 'vintage', why give em up? :)

  3. I do share some characteristics of Mrs. de Winter and Anne Elliot as well,and I could use a bit of Becky Sharp in me! Although I should admit I haven't read Vanity Fair--I've just seen a BBC adaptation.

  4. I need to read Vanity Fair and learn more about Becky! But I love your comparisons to Mrs. de Winter and Anne Elliot. I think we all can relate to some of those traits.

    Sad that you hate your name. :( You should embrace the unique-ness!

  5. Love your use of Phryne Fisher in this post. I can't imagine behaving like Phryne does, but I love reading about her.


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Header image shows detail of A Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, c. 1776