It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the folks at the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s challenge: Top Ten Characters Who Remind Me Of Myself Or Someone I Know In Real Life. This was another “hmmm…that’s…wait I think I got this” challenge.
Characters who remind me of me.
1. A book I mention a lot, Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg. As I’ve probably also mentioned, I totally loved Smilla and thought we had some similarities (short, alienated/outsider, solitude loving…)
2. I so identified with Miss Havisham from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations whenever I experienced a “disappointment.” If I could have, I would have stopped the clocks and walked around mooning forever while plotting my great revenge. Lack of money (and hey, who knew? I had an ability to bounce back), saved me on this one.
3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. In my younger “I have a DRAMA streak a mile wide” days, I totally identified with “poor/obscure/little/plain/no one notice’s me cause I’m just…” Jane. As I’ve gotten older, I feel more like the jaded Rochester, who learned that life had a few joyful and beautiful surprises for him (even if maybe he didn’t quite deserve them…).
4. She has curly dark hair (like me), a streak of romantic impracticality (like younger days), and a tendency to make impossible rules for herself that she feels she must follow even though no one else is looking to enforce them. Zosine from Isak Dinesen’s The Angelic Avengers. How much did I feel she reminded me of me?…she’s where I got the name “Zo” from. Of course, other details are hazy…I even had to google her last name, “Tabbernor.”
5. Okay…not a person. Two literary cats remind me of strivingcynic cat. The first was a real cat: Dewey from Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat who Touched the World by Vicky Myron and Bret Witter. Like Dewey, sc cat is proud and loving, makes people happy and has a knack for knowing when you need a little more love…and then giving it to you.
totally book (and cover) worthy
6. Milton in Milton by Hayde. An incredibly short book about a cat who is very content with his life because his bowl is always full.
7. Remember the haughty Lady Catherine de Bourgh from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? I had a very snobby colleague where I worked ten years ago. Two things I remember about her. When giving me my editing test (I was an editor, and yes, they would give you a test at interviews to see how good your skills were), she said something to the effect of “This is what separates the wheat from the chaff” (what a thing to say to a nervous job candidate….when I got no call at first I thought “I’m chaff”…when I got the call I thought “I’m wheat!”) Second, she was overly impressed by Ivy League degrees…anyone with one (I, alas, did not possess one), was elevated to a higher status in her elitist mind. She would literally introduce these jewels in the crown as “x who went to [Ivy school].”
8. I have never read the books, but Ripley from Patricia Highsmith’s Mr. Ripley series reminds me of someone I knew who made friends/got girlfriends by mirroring back what people liked in order to impress them/become their friends. When he got bored or saw someone else he’d rather be with, he’d simply cut the tie and move to the next. I suspect that he had no real personality of his own… I think he was probably a sociopath. Ripley to the core.
9. I’ve known someone like Mr. Skimpole in Charles Dickens’ Bleak House. He is an adult with adult responsibilities, but insists he’s like a child…essentially that he wants people to take care of him, but no burden of the expectation that he should do the same for others. Don’t talk to him about practical realities because it’s too much for his child-like head. A frustrating character.
10. Another Dickens favorite. David Copperfield‘s Uriah Heep…thankfully I haven’t encountered too many of these “I’m ever so humble, ever so grateful”/”let me stab you in the back at the first opportunity/thanks for all the help” types. But they’re out there, so be wary!
What about characters you’ve read? Who reminds you of you? Who reminds you of who?