1. LongNovel
    Offline

    LongNovel New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0

    Biblical protagonist name: Adam?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by LongNovel, Sep 6, 2012.

    Hey guys, this is my first post here so I'm sure I have much to learn, though I am looking forward to learning more!

    I wanted to get y'all's opinion on my protagonist's name: Adam. I don't have a last name yet. I know it is hard to give meaningful feedback on something like this without really knowing the plot of my novel, so here is a tidbit.

    Basically my novel is an autobiographical fiction. The plot follows Adam (myself) as he grows up in a very religious society. As he grows up he struggles with coming to terms with the conflicting feelings he feels about his religion and sexuality. This battle leads to a host of other issues that affect Adam's relationships with his life-long best friends: Sean and Leah, as well as his parents. The plot is full of Biblical character names (though most are modernized, i.e (Leah, Sean) as well as references to Biblical events. Biblical allegories and metaphors run throughout the story. Some are more hidden and require the reader to really piece things together, while others are quite explicit.

    The decision to name my protagonist Adam is one of the explicit references I am going for. The idea being that this is how "God created me (Adam)." The novel packs a powerful punch on this message and I feel like using the name Adam is in-line with the overall message and themes of the novel.

    So... all that said... I want to know:

    Do you think it is frowned upon to go for such an obvious symbolic name like Adam. I feel like Adam just works for some reason. It's somewhat close to my real name and the scenes sound so much more intimate now that I've replaced my name with Adam. Basically, I really want to use Adam :) , but if this type of symbolism is frowned upon I may have second thoughts about using it. Any feedback it greatly appreciated!!!

    Sorry if I broke any forum rules; I promise I'll learn them at some point, haha!
     
  2. DefinitelyMaybe
    Offline

    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Messages:
    866
    Likes Received:
    227
    Location:
    Leicester, UK
    You mention religion and sexuality as major themes. To me, the name "Adam" works in context because it's a reference to the slogan "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve". I think calling one of Adam's partners "Steve" would be too obvious though. But of course I'm only guessing at the detailed plot of your novel.

    I should point out that I'm just a random person, not an experienced published author.
     
  3. prettyprettyprettygood
    Offline

    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    Ordinarily I do dislike it when a name is so symbolic, but in this case if your MC's parents are very religious wouldn't Adam be a natural name for them to choose for their son? If so I think it's fine.
     
  4. LongNovel
    Offline

    LongNovel New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes my major themes (sexuality, religion, life, death, forgiveness, etc.) all go very well with the name selection of Adam. And I agree, using a Steve would be a little over the top.

    And yes, Adam was actually almost my name. Instead my parents went with another Biblical name, though.
     
  5. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Adam is such a common name that I don't really think it matters. It's like Peter or Paul - no one thinks "Aha it's from the Bible!" when you hear someone's called that. And in your case, it sounds like a nice touch with the symbolism, because Adam isn't an obvious symbol (like I say, it's like Tom Dick or Harry) and so it's not too in your face, I think. Go with it.
     
  6. catchkatch
    Offline

    catchkatch New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    There's nothing wrong with going with Adam. Especially with all the religious themes in your story, I think the biblical reference will be obvious, but not in a bad way. The connotations will help deepen your readers' understanding. It's simple and to the point. It doesn't come across as silly or anything, if you were worried about that.

    Do you intend to explore the significance of his name in the story (like have Adam muse over being given that name)? Or just leave it as an unspoken reference?
     
  7. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,994
    Likes Received:
    5,503
    I don't know if it would be frowned on, but it seems to me that it would be a combination of unsubtle and confusing. Is Adam supposed to be _Adam_? If so, what is Leah doing there as his contemporary? Is his father supposed to be God? Then what about his mother? Where'd Eve go? And so on.
     
  8. chicagoliz
    Offline

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,295
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I don't see any problem with it and given your reasoning, I think it is a wonderful choice for a name. Beyond that, though, I think Adam (as well as many other biblical names) are so commonplace now that many people don't necessarily think of their biblical origins. Plus, if the character's names are given to them by their parents, and if the parents are religious, it is highly likely they'd give them biblical names -- a person's name really says more about their parents than it does about them (assuming they use their given name).
     

Share This Page