Random Ramblings are hosting a top ten fictional characters. As this sounded like a really fun idea, me and Chris came up with our ten. Although this is a joint list, Chris wrote for the first six.
So in no particular order;
Leonard Shelby from Memento
Leonard is a tragic character, stuck in a constant cycle of revenge and sorrow and yet at the centre of his character is hope. He has a strength about him despite the fact he is inherently vulnerable. I love his wit, clever monologues and strength. He never quits. I also love his tattoos.
Chief Brody from Jaws
Without a doubt my favourite character in film. Masterfully portrayed by Roy Scheider this world-weary, sarcastic cop from New York really caught my imagination. I loved the film but was less enthusiastic with the book. I've often said I'm glad Spielberg made the changes he did.
Mr Hyde from Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Undoubtedly one of the most sadistic, depraved and evil characters in fiction. Mr Hyde is wonderfully evil and represents the repressed dark side of the kind and reserved Dr Jekyll but infinitely more interesting. The thrilling struggle that ensues between the alter egos as each strives to rid themselves of the other really had me on the edge of my seat. The pity I felt for this wicked man at the end surprised me considering all the bad he did.
Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird
Atticus is my overall favourite character from a book. A wonderful, inspirational man striving to do the right thing against a whole town corrupt with racism and hatred he really brings the story to life and restores hope in the goodness of mankind.
Mary Katherine Blackwood from We Have Always Lived in the Castle
The strange and murderous Merricat is a masterful stroke of genius from Shirley Jackson, lost in her own world she thinks nothing of committing evil just to get what she wants and yet she seems to posses a childish innocence and, at times, comes across as almost oblivious to the harm she causes.
Rick Deckard from Blade Runner
Blade Runner is one of my favourite films. I've watched it many times and never get bored. Deckard hates his job but does it anyway partly because of threats but partly because he can't do anything else. His is a frightening, lonely existence stuck on a dying Earth hunting killer androids in the urban jungle of a future LA. He is wise-cracking, world weary and takes guff from nobody. Armed with a pistol that could blow a hole in you the size of a fist he is not a merciless contract killer but a human being with feelings and emotions, he shows genuine remorse at having to hunt the androids and regularly shows fear when confronted with them (unlike the typical portrayal of fearless cops)
Mick from The heart is a lonely hunter
Out of all the characters in this book Mick is the one who I was the most hopeful for. She wears boys clothing and is interested in music and other religions, her biggest fear is to be stuck in this small town in a job she despises. I don't remember a huge amount from this book which I read a good ten years ago but I do remember Mick vividly.
Death from The book thief
I wasn't sure a book could work with death as the narrator but the death we are presented here is one who is sympathetic to all mankind. He is able to show us scenes like Stalingrad which the other characters in the book could not, he is also there to remind us that no matter how bad the residents of Himmel street have it, there is a race of people who have it far far worse.
Like a lot of people I have stuck with Adrian Mole for all eight books (so far) I have read through all his family sagas and his adoration for Pandora while at the same time wanting to slap him for being such a geek. The first book came out in
1981, the year after I was born and as the books are very topical there is very little I am not able to relate to in these books.
The doctors Wife from Blindness
The only person who retains her sight when everyone else has gone blind, the doctors wife is forced to become responsible for the people around her. But the reason I love this character is because shes actually a very reluctant saviour, it doesn't even occur to her and when it does she too sometimes wishes she could go blind in order to avoid the responsibility. She begins by just taking care of her husband and herself before some shocking events forces her to step forward. I think this is realistic, and shows how a middle aged 'doctors wife' can be thrust into doing things she never thought it would be possible for her to do.
So there we have it, looking over the list there are some really dark characters in there and some real 'man' ones (not hard to guess the ones Chris suggested) but for whatever reason they have all managed to really stick with us making them unforgettable.