Tuesday, February 9, 2010

character overload

In the midst of preparing Thursday's Write On! lesson plan on character development, I found myself wasting a good hour browsing my favorite books, pulling excerpts to use as examples of good characterization.

The trouble? I have so many! Anne Shirley, Huck Finn, Emma Woodhouse, Harry Potter, Jeeves & Bertie Wooster, Mrs. Dalloway, Jo March, Inman, Sam Spade, Miss Marple, Richard Jury, Champage D'Vyne, Antonia, Sir Toby Belch, Gogol Ganguli, Elizabeth Bennett, Mr. Darcy, Nancy Drew, Turtle Greer, Ellen Foster, Bigger Thomas, Atticus Finch, Janie, Tea Cake, Cathy Ames and Jay Gatsby. My poor student could potentially sit for hours at my kitchen table listening to me go on and on and on reading about my very favorite characters. And that's just a rough list!

The agony of having a student so ill-read--he has almost NO literary background. I truly wonder what, if anything, he has read as part of his home-school experience. It breaks my heart that he has almost no point of reference, so consequently I ambush him with examples from books to get him interested and hopefully get his library card out of his pocket.

Spill it, reader, who are your favorite literary characters?

Off to browse my shelves some more!


  1. Without a doubt-- Scout from "To Kill A Mockingbird" and Atticus too

  2. Scarlett O'Hara(Hamilton Kennedy Butler).

    But most of your list are also favorites...

    I feel sad for the poor child in Write On! To get to that point in life and not be "friends" with the literary great characters must be so lonely, in a literary sense.

  3. Elizabeth Bennett from "Pride & Prejudice."

  4. hhhmmm.......I would say any of Willa Cather's women characters,such as Alexandra in "O Pioneers" ...........and probably Joe in Little Women are my favs.

  5. That is so sad! I have always loved books...and now my kids are devouring them faster than I can check them out at the library! I'd think it would be hard to passionately "teach" your favorite characters, instead of reading them and letting them meld with your soul. Maybe that would be easier...give him a reading list! If he's that into writing he should have a good background of the greats :)

  6. Beatrice from "Much Ado About Nothing", Kate from "Taming of the Shrew", and Eloise from the "Eloise" books. Basically, I love me a sarcastic troublemaker.

  7. Edna from The Awakening and Jane Eyre - love 'em!

  8. Let's go way back to Little Women: I read it so many times I can still recite lines from certain scenes in the book. I was going to be Jo; we had so much in common, or so I thought!

  9. Can you make the kid read as part of his homework? How can anyone write if they're not a reader?

  10. Here's just a few:
    Elizabeth Bennett, of course.
    Thursday Next- Jasper Fforde's series
    Amy March- though a smaller character she is still a vivid character in my mind
    Olivia- Ian Falconer's pig
    Max- Where the Wild Things Are AND The Wild Things
    Scarlet O'Hara

    So many great books I would reread if I weren't good at discovering new ones.



Spill it, reader.