Favourite Characters

Lucy and TumnusRecently I came across NPR’s list of the 100 best fictional characters of the twentieth century through SLJ’s blog.  I have a few issues with the list (of the top ten, two are female), but don’t really care enough about it to want to write about them all.  It did get me thinking about fictional characters, though.  How did they choose this list?  Who did they consult?  If you asked 1,000 people who their favourite literary character was how many duplicates could you realisticly expect to get?  I mean, when they chose the best fiction book of the twentieth century it won with something like 25 votes out of a very large number of total votes (500 maybe?).  Anyway, I started wondering what people would say to that question.  And then, why are they your favourite character?

For me this is an easy question.  My favourite character is, and pretty much always has been, Lucy Pevensie from the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis.  The books have never really been my favourite books, since other stories and worlds have spoken to me more eloquently than Narnia, but Lucy has always been incredibly special to me.  I identify with her more than any other character that I know of.  There are lots of reasons that I love Lucy.  She is curious, creative, strong, brave and compassionate.  She stands up for herself and for those she loves.  It is her playfulness that opens up Narnia to the four Pevensie children and her valor that shines during her reign as queen of Narnia.  She does what few other fictional children who we also see as adults do – she stays clearly the same person as an adult, she just gets more mature and strong.  Many people accuse Lewis of sexism in his books, but I have trouble believing that because of Lucy.  She breaks all the sexist images that are pointed out in Narnia and is clearly Lewis’s favourite of the children.  She is always identified as the most special.  Perhaps he identified with Lucy too.  I honestly can’t say that I’m terribly much like Lucy (it’s hard for me to really make that comparison), but I have always wanted to be like her.  She speaks to me like no other character has ever done.  As much as I love Eilonwy, Dorothy, Piglet, Irene, Elizabeth Bennet, Natasha Rostov and others, none have ever spoken to me like Lucy has.  She is special.

Do you have a favourite fictional character?  Why are they your favourite?  I’d love to hear what people have to say!

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