Inspirational Literary Characters

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Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
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Inspirational Literary Characters

Post by Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:50 am

Every once in a while, you read a book and somehow, something or someone in the book inspires you to do something different, make different choices, change your life and/or appreciate the life that you have now.

In this topic, we ask: What literary characters have inspired you?

Who was the character, in which book (or books) did you find this person (or these persons). Who is the author of this book?

How were you inspired? Was this an inspiration which you say 'yes, I will do that!' Or was this an inspiration of which you say 'oh, crud, I see I've been doing that and I will STOP right this minute!'

What happened in the story which led up to this inspiration of who and what to be? Or was it the entire story, in which a character develops from being a certain way and changes to something else entirely?

Please keep your posts HOL-appropriate. If you put graphics in the post, please keep them to 600x600 or less (and give credit where credit is due).
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Shiloh Adlar
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Re: Inspirational Literary Characters

Post by Shiloh Adlar » Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:51 am

After reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, I think Arnold/Junior could be and has been an inspirational character for many. This novel is based off of Alexie's real life though it has been fictionalized. Junior has grown up on an Indian reservation is whole life where families grow up there and die there. No one ever leaves. However, Junior was also born with "water on the brain." He had to have surgery at six months old to relieve that pressure and it made him different from his peers. He was bullied growing up but made a best friend, Rowdy, who became his protector. Junior, after an incident at his res school, is told something by a teacher, and does something that no one on the res has done before and, therefore, begins to change his life.

The copy of the book that I have had bonus material to it as it was the tenth anniversary edition. In it, Alexie writes back on the 10 years since True Diary was published, but more so on his friend Randy, who Rowdy is based off of. He speaks of how Rowdy and even Arnold/Junior have been inspirational characters for many Indians through the years since it's publication. Even reading the story, to take a step back from the racism parts of it (of which it does discuss), Junior is incredibly brave and the decision he makes is what saved his life. This has more meaning as you read the book (though it is something mentioned way early on, so no spoiler tag needed). I think anyone could be inspired by his willingness to try something different and make a change and to just step out of your comfort zone, take a risk, and see what happens. I read the whole book in one sitting. It's that good.
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Maxim Trevelyan
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Re: Inspirational Literary Characters

Post by Maxim Trevelyan » Sat May 12, 2018 8:41 pm

One of the most inspirational literary characters is definitely Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Despite the times and her situation, she is staying true to herself and what she wants. Those years were heavy on the meaning of duty, especially when it concerned women. “Duty means doing things your heart may well regret.” However, Elizabeth does things her own way and does not want to sacrifice her heart, pride and integrity. She goes against the wishes of her family and the society, which is only to be admired when the rules are so restricting. Elizabeth is also very intelligent and well-read, which makes her even more inspirational and a good role model.

Another is Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a horrible shark attack. However, she did not let that stop her from returning back to her passion, which was surfing. Despite the heavy loss, she returned to surfing only a month after her accident. Bethany shows how optimism, faith and not giving in can overcome great obstacles and lead to success. A great role model for anyone who struggle with their supposed setbacks while they aim to achieve their dreams.
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Shiloh Adlar
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Re: Inspirational Literary Characters

Post by Shiloh Adlar » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:43 am

I was finished reading this incredible non-fiction book titled The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. The book is an autobiography of William Kamkwamba's life in Malawi and about his idea of building a windmill. It begins discussing his childhood and the magic in their village. He talks about how he at first leaned to magic given by this powder to become strong like his father and defeat his "enemies." What he doesn't realize until a little later is that his worst enemy becomes his own hunger when their country is ravaged by famine.

Many, many people die during this time due to lack of food. There are riots, people stealing and picking up every little thing they can to eat just to survive. William is supposed to be going to secondary school at this time but because his family has no money due to their crops drying out, he has to drop out because he can't pay the fees. He finds solace in the small library in his village where he discovers a book on physics. This book changes his entire life forever. By taking scraps from the junkyard, he begins to learn about electrical current and how things work. Little by little, he begins building his windmill that he plans to use to not only give the people in his village lights for their homes but the security of never worrying about starvation again.

His story is discovered by scholars and he is invited to speak at a TED talk where he said six words that became a motto for the conference, "I try, and I made it!"


I had such a difficult time putting this book down last night because I needed to sleep and it was so good, so the first chance I had to pick it up again today, I did, and finished it. It's amazing what a dream can end up doing to change the world as we know it.
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Re: Inspirational Literary Characters

Post by Shiloh Adlar » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:10 am

This may be a strange post for some as the novel Before the Storm by Christie Golden is based off of a MMORPG called World of Warcraft. However, I still consider the characters literary as they are written into 18 novels, at least 2 novellas that I know of, and of course comics. I have read many of the books in the series since a friend got me to download the game many years ago. When I found out the books existed, and as a book lover, it was the first thing on my to be read (tbr) list.

This book recently came out as a prequel to the newest expansion, Battle for Azeroth. I had to do some catch up since I haven't played the game in some time which included watching many cinematics on YouTube and checking out the stuff online. Needless to say, the game has changed a lot, but one of my favorite characters has not.

Anduin Wrynn, the prince of Stormwind, now King of Stormwind and head of the Alliance, is a strong believer in the Light. He also believes in peace between factions and in this book, his hope is to bring the Forsaken who are undead that were once humans of the kingdom of Lordaeron and the humans of Stormwind together by reuniting families. Most of the Forsaken have living relatives who despise them for being members of the Horde and undead monstrosities and do not realize that they are no longer controlled by the Lich King as mindless minions of the Scourge. King Greymane of Gilneas, Anduin's advisor and good friend to his fallen father, is against this as Lady Sylvanas Windrunner, the Banshee Queen, leader of the Forsaken and now Warchief of the Horde, is devious and strategic and of course happened to murder his son. But Anduin feels from the Light that this is something he must do, especially when he meets with Calia, a human long thought dead, and Faol, the creator of the Knights of the Silverhand and now an undead priest still serving the Light at Netherlight Temple. Anduin realizes that such ties must still exist between families.

As events take place, Anduin never loses his resolve to find peace on Azeroth, even in the face of an enemy that may well be completely lost. This is inspiring to me because he never loses hope. His father was possibly betrayed by Sylvanas, yet he still holds her in regards for who she is and perhaps once was, hoping that she can change but realizing that change may never come.
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Re: Inspirational Literary Characters

Post by Shiloh Adlar » Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:22 am

I finished Destined another House of Night novel by P.C and Kristen Cast recently, and there is a new character that has been introduced that I find inspiring in a way. Aurox comes into the picture as a tool of Neferet, a gift she says came from Nyx but really she received from the White Bull with a very high payment. While he is definitely a product of Darkness and understands that he is there to serve Neferet, he begins to ask the question, "what am I?"

When he asks this of Thanatos, a vampyre priestess from the High Council, she tells him that his future does not have to depict his past. His past does not dictate his future. When Neferet sends him to stop a ritual and therefore ordering him to kill someone close to Zoey and her circle, he begins to question that order. He does not want to interrupt the ritual and he chooses to wait and make a new future for himself. Unfortunately Neferet realizes this and makes a new deal with Darkness and he loses control over himself, but the idea is that he makes a choice to be different, much like Rephaim chooses in the previous novel to follow Nyx's path.

This goes to say that one is not controlled by their past or necessarily must be the product of their upbringing. They can freely choose who they are in life if they believe they can.
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Re: Inspirational Literary Characters

Post by Shiloh Adlar » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:49 am

I recently finished Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian, and I am now eagerly awaiting the second book in the trilogy which is supposed to come out soon. Thora or Theodosia, a name which was stolen from her at the age of six, is a princess in a country that has been taken over by a tyrant ruler hungry for power. The Kaiser has allowed her to live as the Ash Princess, a princess of a kingdom of ashes. He trains her mind in every way to develop a loyalty to him and to behave appropriately in the new culture, stealing not only her name but her own language from her lips and any contact with her people. She is raised as a noble child should be raised, but even though she is given a semblance of freedom, she remains a "little lamb in the lion's den" playing a dangerous game with a man who makes his rules then cheats.

What I found so inspiring about Thora/Theo is that even through all of the ten years she is a prisoner in her own home, there is always hope. What is interesting is that she once believed that hope came from Ampelio, her mother's guardian, and the rebels perhaps rescuing her one day. When she's forced to do the unthinkable, her hope begins to shatter but with the help and support of some friends, she quickly realizes that she is her hope for freedom. She has to take charge herself to free herself.

I related very much to this story in so many ways despite it being fantasy. The idea of being a prisoner in your own home with hope that someone will save you is a reality for many, but what I eventually realized is that sometimes, the "princess" must save herself, and that's more powerful than any guardian or prince coming along to rescue a damsel in distress. Theodosia (yes, the Hamilton song is now in my head) even uses this tactic to her advantage as she discovers what she is capable of. The whole book is about her re-discovering who she is or perhaps even discovering herself for the first time in a world that doesn't allow for a "soft rule." This is what makes Theo inspiring to me.
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Re: Inspirational Literary Characters

Post by Shiloh Adlar » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:57 pm

I could talk about Caelena all day, however, this post will be in all spoiler tags because of a certain revelation that occurs in this series, more outwardly in Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas which I recently finished reading. Major spoilers ahead for this book! Fair warning.

In Heir of Fire, Caelena goes to Wendlyn in order to meet with Maeve, her aunt and also a queen of the Fae. While in Wendlyn, she is to be trained by Rowan, a fae warrior who has taken a blood oath with Maeve. Until Caelena is able to shift and use her magic, she is unable to enter Doranelle where Maeve resides and ask her about the wyrd keys.

What makes Caelena so inspirational in this book is that she starts off fighting her own self, her own heritage and not wanting to be who she truly is which is Aelin, the rightful heir and queen of Terrasen, a queen most believed had been killed. This book goes into that history of that night when her parents were killed. Caelena blames herself for everything that has happened, for everyone that has sacrificed themselves in vain for her. However, when she has to fight the Valg princes, creatures that come over from the other side of the gate which drain you of your soul by forcing you to relive your worst nightmares and memories, she is soon greeted by herself, a young Princess Aelin telling her to "Get up." It is in this moment that Caelena accepts herself as Aelin and takes back her true name and conquers the Valg princes before facing Maeve as a true queen.

The inspirational part is that even though she's been through hell in her life and she does almost let it consume her, there is something within her that pulls her out and she accepts it. She accepts the hope that maybe she can change the world and free her people and those of Eyllwe and the other kingdoms destroyed by the king of Adarlan and begins to fight back. She crawls herself out of her despair to be a leader for her people.
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Shiloh Adlar, Seventh Year
"Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world." -Voltaire
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