In literature, authors have created projections of their ideal person. Their characters are symbolic for how humanity should act despite any problems they are combating. Below are 10 ideal fictional book characters who should exist within our world, as they truly battle their demons with humility and stick to their beliefs despite what anyone says.
Alongside are bits of the author's history, philosophies and past, so one can see how their characters were shaped.
Read on and discover the traits distinguishing these fictionalized characters from the herd...
- Howard Roark -- The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Rand uses protagonist Howard Roark to define her philosophy of objectivism. Howard Roark, an architect, refuses to succumb to the ideals of society. He will not compromise his designs; his individualistic mindset remains strong. The dean of his architecture school asks him who will let him build the houses he wishes to design. He responds, "That's not the point. The point is, who will stop me?" Rand's philosophy advocates the ideas of individual rights, the power of ego, and the value of self. It considers nothing more important than an individual's own life: his/her own ideas, his/her own beliefs, and his/her own mindset. Roark's ability to design stems from his ego -- the belief in himself above all.
- Harry Potter -- Harry Potter And The Order of The Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. The ending of this novel leaves Harry haunted by the death of his godfather, Sirius. Filled with grief and pain, he is ready to give up as he has endured so much in his life. Dumbledore tells him, "The fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength." Despite another loss, Harry trudges forward, never giving up on life despite the constant hardships. When J. K. Rowling gave the Harvard Commencement Address in 2008, she discussed the benefits of failure. She stated upon failing she discovered she had a strong will and disciple. These two qualities are strikingly evident in Harry; he is always facing battles and never cowering away. Rowling continued by acknowledging a person will never truly know themselves and the tight relationships that can be formed until misfortune strikes them. Upon losing Sirius, Harry begins to focus entirely on his mission in his life and his friendships strengthen.
- Tyler Durden -- Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. Influenced by his membership in the prankster group called The Cacophony Society, Palahniuk creates the easygoing, carefree, Tyler Durden to create underground fight clubs and Project Mayhem. Durden represents freedom and is the split personality of the narrator who longs to escape his trapped world. "Together," with Project Mayhem, they attempt to demolish civilization to break free from modern corruption.
- Randle Patrick McMurphy -- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey When rebellious McMurphy is placed in a psychiatric hospital, he attempts to encourage patients to stand up for themselves and boost the confidence in each man. Kesey shaped this novel around his experience taking psychoactive drugs, immersing himself in the hospital, and observing how the patients were treated.
- Siddhartha -- Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. In India, Siddhartha seeks meaning in life and is constantly questioning. By exploration of the Samanas path, Buddhism, a life of love and wealth, and a simple life at the river, Siddhartha explores the great truths in life. Hesse was inspired by his travels throughout India and Asian countries, as well stories told to him by his grandfather, a missionary in India.
- Boxer -- Animal Farm by George Orwell. Boxer is a horse, however, his slogan, "I will work harder," is notable. He is known for his loyalty and work ethic in ensuring the farm prospers. Orwell wrote the novella as a metaphor about Soviet Communism and used Boxer to represent the working class. According to bbc.co.uk, this novella pinpointed the devastating effects that would occur if Stalin took action.
- Holden Caulfield -- Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Although Caulfield does isolate himself, calling adult phonies, his character experiences a believable form of character growth. He cycles from a cynical opening line to a nostalgic ending line; this true personal growth is admirable. According to wbur.org, Salinger wrote parts of the novel during WW11, and afterwards, admitted himself into a hospital. Uniquely, after hospitalization, he signed himself back into the war.
- Pat Solatano -- Silver Lining Playbook by Matthew Quirk. Although diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, Solatano is optimistic. The reader sees where his obsession stems from and witnesses the never-ending battles Solatano faces and his constant suffering. Despite all, Solatano remains positive. Quirk's personal battles with depression and mood swings inspired him to write the novel.
- The Giver -- The Giver by Lois Lowry. The Giver is a person of loyalty and commitment. As required, he keeps the memories of societies' painful past to himself until he is told to pass it onto 11-year-old Jonas. According to SLJ.com, Lowry was visiting her parents in the nursing home where her father's mind was gradually losing memories. After telling him of his deceased daughter, she later thought of concepts of manipulating memory. Thus began the idea for The Giver.
- Jace -- City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. This demon-slayer covered in rune tattoos makes bravery look easy despite his internal father conflicts. However, he stops at nothing to protect Clary, whatever the circumstances. Inspiration for the series came to Clare in the East Village, observing a tattoo parlor where the staff leaves their tattoo footprint across the ceiling. There she gathered the idea on tattoo-based magic.
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