"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Top Ten Inspirational Literary Characters

The Broke and Bookish
Top Ten Inspirational Literary Characters

1. Melanie Wilkes from Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
She always seems to do what is right and what is needed at the time; she stayed loyal and kind to bad-girl Scarlett who wanted to steal her husband.

2.  Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The respectful way that he represents Tom Robinson, treats his neighbors, even the nasty Mrs. DuBois, and the thoughtfulness he uses with his children. This is a book about conscience.  We all can use more of it!

3.  August Boatwright from The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
"August created an alternate religion for herself and her friends based around a statue of a black Mary that has been passed through generations of her family. She teaches Lily about this religion and spirituality in general, as well as about beekeeping and love."  -Sparknotes

4. Jeremiah Land from Peace like a River by Lief Enger
"Jeremiah, a school janitor, is a man of faith who quietly performs miracles – one of which is to bring Reuben [his son] to life after his lungs failed to inflate when he was born. Reuben is the only one who ever sees or notices these miracles; he concludes that he is meant to be a witness to them."  -Wikipedia

5.  Anne Elliott from Persuasion by Jane Austen
To my mind the most inspiring of all Austen's characters, Anne is counted on my others for her thoughtfulness, practicality and unselfish ways.

6.  Morrie Morgan from Whistling Season by Ivan Doig
Morrie was the man pressed into service as a teacher in a one-room school house.  His teaching methods were unorthodox but inspired Paul so much that 50 years later he could recall the impact that Morrie had on his life.

7.  Corrigan from Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
Corrigan is the very selfless Catholic brother who loves the unlovable and inspires everyone to be their better selves.  "Corrigan told me once that Christ was quite easy to understand. He went where He was supposed to go. He stayed where He was needed. He took little or nothing along, a pair of sandals, a bit of a shirt, a few odds and ends to stave off the loneliness. He never rejected the world. If He had rejected it, He would have been rejecting mystery. He would have been rejecting faith."-p. 20

8.  Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
"Charlotte Brontë's heroine towers over those around her, morally, intellectually and aesthetically; she's completely admirable and compelling." -100 favourite fictional characters

9.  Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The benevolent creator of Narnia.  Every action and word from Aslan is inspiring to me.
“'They say Aslan is on the move - perhaps has already landed.' And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different... At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside" -The Lion, Witch , and the Wardrobe, Chapter 7.

10.  Oskar Schindler from Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
Schindler is credited with saving the lives of over 1200 Jews during the Holocaust. "His extraordinary story might have died with him but for their [survivors] gratitude. In trying to answer the inevitable question, why did he do it, one of the survivors said: 'I don't know what his motives were... But I don't give a damn. What's important is that he saved our lives.' Perhaps the question is not why he did it, but rather how could he not. And perhaps the answer is unimportant. It is his actions that matter now, testimony that even in the worst of circumstances, the most ordinary of us can act courageously. If Oskar Schindler, flawed as he was, did it, then so might we, and that is reason enough to hope." -Jewish Virtual Library

I love a good book where one or more of the characters speaks to my better instincts and encourages me to think and act on a higher plane.  Who are some literary characters who inspire you?


  1. You included a nice balance of classic & contemporary characters. Well done :)

  2. Atticus is on my list as well. Really he could have been the only item on my list and I would have considered it completed.

  3. The sad thing about this list is that I recognize most characters on it, but the only one I've read is Narnia. I agree that Aslan is a great character for this list. He was my favorite character in the Narnia books.

  4. I’m so upset with myself right now for not including Melanie. I did include Atticus! Aslan is another good one.

  5. Good call on Corrigan from Let the Great World Spin!

  6. I love your list. Especially love that you included Aslan!

  7. What a thoughtful and eclectic list, Anne! I like doing the Tuesday Top Ten lists but barely had time today to even read a few blogs! Rough week.

    Really enjoyed your list - you chose some great ones!


  8. Hi Anne.
    Well: Corrigan! I so adored Let the Great World Spin that I befriended the author, Calum McCann. Small web-world, isn't it?
    And Aslan and Atticus: Quite a formidable duo.
    Let's keep in touch: I'm an English teacher in WA state. Any time you can throw a great YA title my way, I promise to read it. As a ninth grade teacher, I'm always on the hunt for appropriate adult reads and truly worthy YA ones...
    And my book group (all teachers) is looking forward to reading Cutting for Stone this summer: I'd love to hear how you respond to it.

  9. Great choices! I love that Atticus made your list as well. :)

    Reading Lark's Top 10

  10. Great list (Aslan, Atticus), it's so different from my list and makes me think of characters I should have remembered when doing my own!

  11. This is an excellent list. I especially love #10. I've only ever seen the movie... but I should probably read the book!!

  12. Nice choices. August Boatwright is one i haven't seen on any other list and i completely agree with you. i've never read Let the Great World Spin but i'm intrigued now and might have to add it to my TBR list

  13. I've only read about Aslan, which is a great choice, and I've only heard about some of the other books.

  14. I thought Corrigan was a fantastically inspiring character. Excellent choice.

    My list was composed of real people and I later remembered that I'd forgotten to include Corrie Ten Boom.


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