My Literary Doppelgangers

Posted February 16, 2018 by Amber in Memes / 25 Comments

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In 28 years of reading, I have found only five characters that I deeply relate to.  Not every aspect of them suits me, but as a white woman with plenty of cultural representation, I find it a little surprising I’ve only related to five so closely.  I think it’s because I search for personal and societal representation more than cultural (though doubtless I would be more interested in cultural representation if I was not represented).

There is such a feeling of joy and comradery when I find a character that I love, who I see my own behaviors in, and who I emulate (for better or worse).  I’m sure we all have a handful of characters we love to our core, whose mantras we repeat, and who we wish were real.  There are a lot of characters I admire, but I don’t see myself in all of them.

From least similar, to most similar, these are my character doppelgangers!

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Hester

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

While Hester and I are not alike in looks or even personality, we are alike in interest.  Hester lives in Plymouth, MA and she works as a “historical interpreter” at Plymouth Plantations.  Mes chers, if someone offered me a job like that and the pay cut wasn’t too substantial, I would be all over that job.  I majored in History, love the story of humanity and its growth, and would really like to do something with my degree.

More than just her job, though… Hester cares about history.  She cares about the past – both humanity’s and her own.  With the small, cringe-worthy exception of that moment when she nonchalantly shove antiques in her backpack (ugh!), she and I have a similar reverence for history and that’s not something you see in most main characters.  An interest in history is reserved for the mentors and old librarians in literature, which is a bummer.

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Scarlet O’Hara

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Scarlet is perhaps not the best person to list as a doppelganger.  Perhaps not the best person to look up to, considering how cold-hearted she can be.  There is one thing to Scarlet that I can’t help but to admire, and that is her strength.

I’ve written about Gone with the Wind a couple times, although never about Scarlet herself.  I’ve written about the love story, and about the journey (and both those posts are rather old).  Scarlet, though?  Scarlet inspires me.  In many ways I would like to be a little more like her – rough-skinned and business savvy, but more than anything else I admire her unbreakable spirit.  People have (I often believe mistakenly) told me I am a strong person, but I am not and will never be as strong as Scarlet.  I can only try to find the strength to pick myself up over and over again.

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Hermione Granger

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling

I chose the Chamber of Secrets version of Hermione because she has always best suited me.  She’s intelligent, diligent, and she cares about her people.  But she is not well loved, not really well-liked.  At this point in her life, her only close friends are Harry and Ron.

But, despite her lack of popularity, despite the danger lurking in the halls, Hermione is proud of her intelligence.  She was the one who taught us girls to be proud of how smart we are.  Of course I adore her – who doesn’t?  But I also see myself in her in the way she adheres to her random facts and library trips, even though it doesn’t make her the most popular girl in the room.

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Luna Lovegood

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

Yes, I have two Harry Potter girls on here.

I love Luna because she is unapologetically herself, and I try to be that way too.  Luna is sweet and kind and sentimental.  She believes in things with a naive innocence, like the basic goodness in people or crumple-horned snortlacks.  I’m like her in that I try to see the good in everyone, even if the good is small.  Like her, I am also odd – I don’t dress fashionably and love riddles and value wisdom.

My favorite part of Luna takes place in a scene she isn’t even in.  It is when the trio visit her house to talk to her father and they see her room.  I think that the friends mural on her ceiling is amazing.  It speaks to her bursting creativity, her loneliness, and her hope and love.

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Tess Dombegh

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

The character I most relate to in my history of reading is Tess Dombegh.  I just discovered Tess and as you’ll note from the review earlier this week – I absolutely loved the book.  Never in my entire life have I run into a character with life experiences so similar to my own.  And she was going on an adventure of self-discovery and healing.  Marvelous.  Simply marvelous.

Tess struggles constantly with the line between self-care and selfishness.  With her position in her family and her relationship to them.  With the faith she was raised in.  All of these things apply to me.  Tess is resourceful and fearless, something I would like to be more of.  All in all, I loved her and I am glad to have found my true literary doppelganger in so wonderful a character.

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This week’s Book Blogger Hop prompt is:

Have you ever found yourself acting like a favorite character in a novel? If so, which one?

 

My short answer is that I find myself in many characters.  Aching like Tess does.  Repeating Scarlet’s line: “I won’t think of it today – I’ll think of it tomorrow, when I can bear it.”  Scrutinizing things like Luna and researching them like Hermione.  I can think of few better role models than those we find in books, for in them we are rewarded entire stories, successes and failures, love and loss.

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Do you see yourself in one character (or many)?

What advice would you take from your favorite character?

If you could jump into any character’s shoes, who would you pick?
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25 responses to “My Literary Doppelgangers

  1. I think Scarlet gets a bit of a bad rap. I mean she’s not always the nicest but she’s a survivor and when the chips are really down she takes care of her own even if she isn’t particularly sweet about it. I think Luna’s a great choice! I wish I was as comfortable in my own skin at her age!

    • Amber

      Scarlet gets suuuuuuch a bad rap! I admire her strength and vigilance. And when she’s cruel, it’s never deliberate. She’s incredibly selfish… but she’s amazing. 🙂

      I could not agree more about being comfortable in my skin like Luna, especially as a young teen.

  2. This is such a unique post! I love it 🙂 It actually really made me think too, since considering everything I’ve read, I can’t really say I have any characters that jump at me as being particularly relatable. I’m honestly not sure what that says about me, but it makes me a little bit sad, haha. Maybe I’m just not reading the right books or I need to read more to really find that character I connect with.

    Rebeccah @ The Pixie Chronicles recently posted: Is Indie Publishing “Less Than” Trade Publishing?
    • Amber

      I’m always looking for characters like that, so I think it’s helpful to have that on my radar! Tess is really the only one who has fit me through and through… to where it felt like looking in a mirror. It was heartbreaking, but in a good way. I really hope you find yours – it’s such an amazing experience.

  3. Oh man, you have actual answers! I never really acted like any characters before. Maybe I’m too vain to think that I’m too unique to do so. Or maybe I have such a plain personality that no one would write about someone like me, haha! However, I did relate to Hermione and Luna Lovegood a lot but they were too good at what they do that they became more like role models for me.

    • Amber

      Yes I do! I use the BBH prompt as a full post prompt, not just a one sentence reply. XD. I’m probably using it wrong, but whatever, it works for me!!!

      I think viewing characters as role models is really good as well. Scarlett O’Hara is more like #goals for me if I’m being realistic. And Hermione/Emma Watson has been such an incredible role model for girls!

    • Amber

      I recommend Tess of the Road with all my heart and soul. I adored the book and the character so much… though in all fairness I will also say a lot of people are DNF’ing it on Goodreads because they got bored. So it will be a book that people either love or hate. Clearly, I love it. 🙂

    • Amber

      I think seeing both those girls in the Harry Potter books was so important to a lot of young women who felt odd or different because they were smart or a bit geeky. :). Now characters like these are mainstream, but they were definitely unique when I was growing up, and I loved them both to pieces.

  4. Cam

    This is a beautiful post! I, too, relate to Luna’s quirkiness and her love for all things strange. Another character I admire is Jane Eyre – her strength and self respect are traits I’m working on within myself. There are more characters I could name, so I hope you don’t mind I make a similar post with a link back/credit.

  5. I love your answers to these questions! They’re always so well thought out. 🙂
    I don’t think I’ve ever acted like a book character, on purpose, but I sometimes wish I could channel some and other times I see elements of myself in the characters I’m reading about.

    • Amber

      Aw, thank you! I try to use the BBH prompts as a full post prompt to add some content and discussion to my blog, rather than just answer the question. 🙂

      Which characters have you found elements of yourself in?

  6. The characters I relate to aren’t even black, but I relate to them on a personality type way, if that makes sense lol. I’ve been told that I act like Bella from Twilight, not the selfless, death-defying actions she does, but more like her sarcastic, shy, intuitive, thoughtful personality. Plus, we both love to read and love Edward Cullen!

    • Amber

      YES. That makes so much sense, and is very much the way I click with people. Still, I know there are life experiences out there I can’t imagine and people love a POC protag (as they should!!!). 😀

      • Danielle

        Yeah, exactly! We love a good POC protagonist, I mean have you seen Black Panther?! Tons of black badass characters to relate to! 😀

        • Amber

          Oh my goodness, yes I have. We saw it on Saturday and… AMAZING. Shuri was my favorite, but just about every single character in that film is prime role model material.