Happy Wednesday my bookish unicorns, I hope everyone is enjoying their June so far (it has been really hot here on the West Coast and I have some mixed feelings about it). So I realize that the title of this post sounds really dramatic, but what I really wanted to do today is talk about some fictional characters that really impacted me and maybe even changed the way I see the world or even how I see myself. There have been quite a few really amazing characters I have encountered over the years, and being an only child who lives a lot in my imagination, these fictional characters were really important to me growing up. I have narrowed it down to three that had the biggest impact on me at different points in my life! I would also really like to hear from all of you on this topic, what are some characters that had lasting impacts on you (it can be positive or negative), let me know down in the comments.
Hermione Granger, the bookish companion of Harry Potter who in my opinion is one of the only reasons Harry survived all seven books! I started reading Harry Potter when I was around 6 years old (my mom read them to me then) and it had a huge impact on my childhood. I have always been a nerdy person, I loved school and books are obviously a big passion for me. Hermione was the first fictional character I encountered that was like me, she loved to learn, she was smart and that made her brave and powerful. I identified with her (and still do) and she showed me it was not only ok to be a nerd, it was awesome!
I read Life of Pi when I was in grade 11 for a book report. I usually didn’t enjoy the books my english teachers picked out (seriously don’t get me started on Wuthering Heights), but this book had a huge impact on me. I am not a religious person, in fact I am pretty much as far from that as one can get, but reading about Pi’s journey to discover Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and his love of all three was a beautiful insight into religious culture. I actually ended up having a double major in Religious Studies and History in University, and this book was my first real inspiration. Pi was so open-minded and accepting, and it was a real eye opener for me.
Shahrazad or Scheherazade is one of the main characters in the Middle Eastern classic Arabian Nights (or 1001 Nights). This is probably my favourite classic story collection of all time, the narrative complexity, magic and storytelling artistry in it is amazing, and I wish I could read it in it’s original Arabic because I am sure it would be even better! Shahrazad sacrifices herself by promising to marry the Persian Sassanid King who kills his wives the morning after their wedding (he became this after his own original wife was unfaithful to him). She stays alive by telling the king stories every night for 1001 nights, and thus spares any other girls from death at his hands. I have always wanted to be a writer myself, and so I have admired her storytelling abilities since the first time I read this book. I also admire her courage, a virtue that I have struggled with in the past, and I can only hope to channel some of Shahrazad in my future experiences.