Connecting with Characters

For me, a character is basically worthless if I don’t understand or connect with them on some level. I feel like this is a very nice post to write, because someone who may stumble upon this may feel they connect with the same type of stuff, and may then find that a) they are not alone and b) there are some characters out there they might really love.

Now, for me, the characters I connect with are people. People as in fully fleshed out beings, where I want to get to know them, I feel like I could have a conversation with them, reading about them is like I’m getting to know them and starting a sort of friendship. I am the type of person that is generally hard to get on with. At least in real life. I’m told online I’m an absolute treat. Generally speaking though, I’m the creepy kind of introverted, this weird mixture of ‘warm’ and ‘cold’, blunt, cynical, and almost incapable of empathizing with other human beings, which leads to logic based opinions. I’m a glass-is-always-full type of person. A sentient robot, if you will. (Take note: the logical route pretty much always corresponds with the ‘good’ route – I can’t take people out of logic because that would be selfish and selfishness is, typically, illogical – more on that later, I suppose).

And I really, really, really dislike talking about myself. So I’m going to stop. Have a figurative smiley face.

Let’s get into it, then.

Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars

This book is absolutely NOT about teen cancer. It’s about life, and what’s the point if we’re all going to die, and all that good stuff. And because I’m depressing and I like philosophy, I think about that a lot. Most of Hazel’s thoughts were so spot on to my own thoughts that sharing them with you would feel too personal. She has a personality, and it’s wonderful. I will say that one of my favorite bits was that she watched America’s Next Top Model. A lot of people started going on an on about that being a stereotype – but she was very much not the type of girl to watch a show like that. It was a quirk. Like how me and my brother both like Ouran Highschool Host Club (the anime) even though it’s a fluffy rom-com. Other than the fact that it’s hilarious, it seems unlikely. Even more unlikely, we both found enjoyment in Fruits Basket. So, outside of personal stuff which would just be way too much (I felt for this chick so hard I actually cried – this is rare) she’s got weird quirks, I’ve got weird quirks, she get’s existential, I get existential. We’re a match made in heaven.

Julian Carax from The Shadow of the Wind

You may know that TSoW is my favorite book (followed by TFiOS, of course). This is getting tricky again because I am so in love with this book, I need everyone to read it and, as such, I cannot divulge the main reason why I connect with this man. Just know that he is damaged to the point of near-insanity and, if that wasn’t clear from the previous statement, he’s a writer. He loved, he lost. He very much lost himself, and it took love – of the friendship variety – to bring him back. I think we all could do from a bit of love. It’s so easy to be disconnected from everything, and then you meet one crazy person who won’t leave you alone and you find friendship and become a person again. I am in love with this concept. I connect with this concept. Julian Carax is the be all end all of this concept. He’s a very extreme form of myself, I feel, where he’s let everything that happened bring him down so much he just stop giving a shit about what happens to him. If I keep talking about him I’m going to end up revealing spoilers, and I don’t want to do that because do you really think I would trust you not to read the spoilers? Read the book. Google the spoilers, if you suck. But I shan’t be the one to ruin it.

Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Damaged? Check. Filled with a sense of isolation? Check. In need of friends to put him back together and make him feel like a person again? Check. Love of books and writing? Check, check. Charlie and I have different responses to different childhood issues, but the base needs and the core of what we want life to be are, essentially, the same. In many ways, I am Charlie. In many ways, I am not. What’s weird is, it’s this difference I connect with more than anything else. I am a fan of contrast. In biology, in psychology, in philosophy, contrast is my friend. This is the one character I feel I could actually be friends with. That we could actually talk to each other without everything seeming slightly meaningless.  He is the character that could be my friend, and as I was reading, I felt this friendship brewing. Based on the ideas that I have only now just considered, I might say that Charlie is my character; I connected with him in a way I don’t think I’ll be able to connect to anything else – real or fictional – again. Genuine in that, for me, a true connection cannot be repeated. Goodness I love Charlie. Another figurative smiley face.

This seems like a fine place to end it – have a nice day.

2 thoughts on “Connecting with Characters

  1. Pingback: The Best Characters Vol. 2 | The Paradoxical Paradigm

  2. Pingback: 30 Day Challenge Archive | A Cavalcade of Literature

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