- Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre: What I love about this eponymous heroine is that she subverts both contemporary and current expectations of who she should be and how she should act. In her own time, she definitely is not behaving as a proper woman should. In our time, she can come off as too staid or subdued. In truth, she is a woman who acts according to her heart, head, and beliefs. I hope someone can say that about me when I go!
- Hermione "Book BAMF" Granger from the Harry Potter series: Let's face facts- if you ever thought Hermione was in danger of dying in the HP series, you weren't paying very much attention to the dynamics. No Harry? No hero. No Hermione? No plot propulsion. Miss Granger is the only way the story moves along, because she's the only one who routinely is figuring out what the hell they need to do next. She is the sassy brains of the outfit and I love her for it. For those of you with the extended addition of Deathly Hallows (Part 2), there is a great documentary with Jo Rowling about female characters in the series.
- Stevens from Remains of the Day: This sad and unaware butler just makes me want to give him a hug. His complete denial and lack of awareness makes for some very funny and completely tragic moments in this amazing book. The film adaptation is wonderful, and I don't begrudge them giving him a slightly more hopeful send out than the book seems to.
- Miss Havisham from Great Expectations: Where did Dickens come up with his crazy characters? We could have a whole list of just Dickensian people (the Pale Young Gentleman, anyone?), but this wizened old bat is my favorite- especially her demise. You can't help but hate and love her all at once.
- Fosco & Mr. Fairlie from The Woman in White: Raych at Books I Done Read has freed me to fully let my fan flag fly for these two crazy creations. Fosco, because he's maybe the closest thing to pure evil I've ever seen on page who still works as a rounded character, and Mr. Fairlie, because he is just so deliciously weird.
- Captain Hastings from the Hercule Poirot mysteries: What I love about Hastings is that we've all been there- we've all been the clueless, dopey one at some point. Alas for this brave captain, most of us are able to see when we've been a boob and laugh. Poor old Hastings just keeps at it, much to Poirot's and our amusement.
- Lucy Pevensie from the Chronicles of Narnia series: Lucy is basically what every girl should hope to be: brave, kind, wise, loyal, and adventurous.
- Harriet Vane from the Lord Whimsey mysteries: I've discovered that I don't much like the Lord Peter books that don't contain his sassy paramour. I love that she doesn't take much guff from the pompous hero, but beyond that, Dorothy Sayers has some really thoughtful things to say about modern womanhood through this flawed but lovable woman.
- Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings: Do I really need to say anything? Sam makes me want to be a better person and a better friend.
- Bernie Wooster from the Jeeves & Wooster series: Jeeves may be the brains, but Wooster is the lovable idiot of this pair, and his hilarious social commentary and general lack of any sense makes me laugh out loud.
So that's my list... I think next week may be my list of my least favorite characters, or characters I love to hate.
Who are your favorite characters in literature?