Monday, April 23, 2012

"Five-and-twenty, Tattycoram."

...Or ten, rather. I have decided to join up (at least for several of the days) in The Anne-girl's Hero Week over at her blog, Scribblings of my Pen and Tappings of my Keyboard. :) Today's challenge was to list my top 10 favorite heroes in literature and tell you a bit about them. Ready? Set? Go!

1. John Jarndyce. For those of you who have read Charles Dicken's Bleak House, you will realize who I am talking about and why I love him so. He is the epitome of self-sacrifice and generosity. He's loving, gentle, but firm. Plus he never goes off his rocker like some people. *ahem ahem* (Nobody said the hero has to be the lover, right?)

2. Sir Percy Blakeney. Yes, yes, I know. Every girl loves Sir Percy, but it would be positively indecent not to include him in this list, even at risk of sounding like a common fan-girl. :P The French Revolution needs to be relived (kidding) so that we can have a real Scarlet Pimpernel. I was rather dismalized when I remembered there was no such personage in the actual history of the French Rev. Sir Percy is heroism itself--pluck, audacity, humor, compassion, and considerable fashion taste. ;)

3. Arthur Clennam. The hero of Little Dorrit, this man is one of the gentlest and sweetest heroes I've yet to come across in literature. He is humble, loyal, kind, and yet unmoving. His scruples are never moved by any of his circumstances and in the end he is rewarded for all that. :) Arthur Clennam has lived a life of contradictions: unloved, yet loving. Pushed away, yet reaching out. He's a real man. :)

4. Mr. Knightley. We all know who he is. We all know why he's on this list. We all know that words would not begin to describe the depth of his character. Thus I shall borrow his own words and appropriate them to myself: "Perhaps if I felt less I could talk about it more." ;)

5. Sydney Carton. We don't often think of this fellow from Charles Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities when we think of our top ten fictional heroes, but I had to include him. He is a wouldbegood. He has wasted his life for years, is denied the woman he loves, is about to go to ruin, and then he has a conversion. He takes that wasted life and becomes a hero. It's a beautiful picture of our own redemption through Christ.

Haven't seen any film version of this book so I hope this is Sydney. :D

6. Nathaniel Bowditch. I don't think I've read of a more determined man than this fellow. I was inspired by his sheer determination and strength in the face of so many trials. If you ever want a good, easy, rather sad book to read, read Carry on, Mr. Bowditch. :)

7. David Copperfield. Although I was cross for his perversity in marrying Dora, I loved David. His story was pathetic and yet sweet. And he rose up through all those terrible spheres of trial and temptation and came out on the right end. I love him. :)

8. This brings me to Mr. Dan'l Peggotty. (Also from David Copperfield) He is, perhaps, the true "hero" in the book. His love for his niece, Em'ly, and his quest to find her and bring her home brought me to tears several times. He is so blue and brown and sea-smelling that one can't help but love him. :)

9. Jean Valjean. This character from Les Miserables had my sympathy from the get-go. I wanted to  do something awful to Javert myself to get him off of this good man's track. I know Les Miz was written partially as an allegory and I can see why. Jean Valjean is a redeemed man, and yet his past and faith-by-works is hunting him down relentlessly. A marvelous hero.

10. Gilbert Blythe. I had to include him. Gilbert is so ordinary and yet so great. Why do I count him among my favorite heroes? My only answer is a shrug and a "why-not", but I think it has something to do with the fact that he is down to earth. I feel that I have a real chance of meeting my own Gilbert someday. He is practical, generous, funny, and impulsive and that is why he is on my list.

Have a great Monday, girls! :)


Rose M. said...

I love that you included Gilbert!

Perhaps he's not performing the usual tasks of a hero- slaying dragons or killing off the threatening enemy. Yet, sometimes it those simple things, no?

Wonderful post (as always)!

~Rose M. from

Anne-girl said...

Have you seen pictures from the Broadway version of Tale of two cities? That's what I think Sydney Carton looks like.

You like Nat Bowditch! oh my word I love you! he is one of my favorite guys ever. Not sure if he'll make the top ten though since I have so many.

Thanks for participating!

Anne-girl said...

BTW did you sign the linky? Cause it's not showing up that you did.

Marian said...

John Jarndyce--yes!!

And that's an excellent film version of A Tale of Two Cities. He is definitely Sydney Carton to me. :)

Carilyn said...

How cool that you did Nat from Carry on Mr. Bowditch! I read that book for school (when I was still doing school :P ). Not many people mention that book, but it really is a good one! =)

ashley tahg said...

YES! Sydney! Hugs and Kisses for him.

And of course, I would hug and kiss Sir Percy as well, but, lark, he happens to be married. Woe unto us.

ashley tahg said...

Rachel, you have won an award (liebster) over at my blog:

you are 'The Inked one'.

C said...

Did this and I mentioned you! :)