Think about all the books you've read over the years. Do you have a favorite character, one whose name is etched in your mind forever? When you think of her, you picture the way she walks, or hear a word she uses that is uniquely hers. Have you read a book that the minute you finish the last page, you've forgotten the main character's name? What's more, you don't recall a thing he did that makes you care whether he got what he wanted or not. What makes the difference? Why does one character stay with you and make you smile, or frown, or cry, but another character leaves you indifferent to his/her fate?
One of my favorite heroines is Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind. Why does she stay with me, after all these years? She's selfish, self-centered, cares only about herself (and Ashley), and delights in breaking young men's hearts. She uses friendships to her advantage. Her goal in life is to make Scarlett happy. What she achieves, however, is anything but happiness. And I think, to me, this is why I remember her. As I read, I hope she'll change. I hope she'll have compassion for those around her. That she'll turn out to be a decent young woman. She suffers hardships, hunger, and loss of children, but to the very end, she's still Scarlett. Her goals change when she makes an amazing discovery. I like to think that she learned something and in her future, she might turn into a daughter her mother and father would be proud of. So I left the story with hope for her.
This week I'd love to hear your comments on your favorite characters, why a particular one stays with you when others are soon distant memories. I'm thinking now of some modern day heroes and heroines to see which ones I'll remember, the way I do Katie Scarlett O'Hara.