If you are an avid reader, you’ve most likely tried to put yourself in the shoes of a character. I did it myself many times. I would say things like, “No! No, wait, what are you doing!?” or, “Yeah dude, give them everything you got!” or “I think I would do the same…” and so on. Besides it’s fun—it can also help you understand characters’ motives better and the overall feel of a book.
Recently I’ve been reading through one of my favorite novels, “The Curious Incident of the Dog at the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon, and discovered that Christopher, the main character, appeared incredibly realistic in my mind. He acted, talked, and thought like a real-life autistic person; at first I even thought the author was autistic himself, and wrote on his own behalf. Anyways, it inspired me to create a list of literary characters whom I think are realistic:
- Christopher, from “The Curious Incident of the Dog at the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon.
- Holden Caulfield, from “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger.
- Santiago, from “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway.
- Winston Smith, from “1984” by George Orwell.
- Rogozhyn, from “The Idiot” by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
- The main character in Haruki Murakami’s “A Wild Sheep Chase” (even though the novel is not too realistic).
- Sherman McCoy and Peter Fallow, from “The Bonfire of the Vanities” by Tom Wolfe.
- Dean Moriarty, from “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac.
- John Bidlake, from the “Point Counter Point” by Aldous Huxley.
- Musashi, from Yoshikawa Eiji’s novel of the same name.
Do you agree with this list? If no (or yes) what would be your personal top 10 list? Please feel free to share in the comments.
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