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  1. tanvi02

    tanvi02 Member

    Aug 4, 2010
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    how just is it to ape fictional characters?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by tanvi02, Aug 10, 2010.

    some characters are true good to be real and some are devilishly bad? but still there are few characters which we can relate to ourself.is it just to be like them or ape them or even get inspired by them??
  2. HeinleinFan

    HeinleinFan Banned

    Jan 6, 2007
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    I'm not entirely sure what you're asking, but if you mean "is it weird to be impressed by a fictional character" then I don't think it is. I mean, part of what books do is give us an insight into how other people live their lives, and it can be seriously useful to see from the "inside out," even in a fictional setting, what it is like to be a knight / peasant / scientist / veterinarian who is trying to live their life well.

    Example: in the book Dies the Fire, a character asks a veterinarian why she's traveling alone when she has family in the area. The vet replies that she knew her family didn't have much food, and if she asked for help and food they would give it to her even though they couldn't really afford it. So even though it would be easy, and really really tempting, she carefully did not ask for their help.

    That's neat. I've never been starving, or worried about starving in the future. i don't know what it's like to live through an EMP attack, or to have to deal with a breakdown in law and order. So that character -- in doing something which made life harder on her but easier on her family -- showed me a new way to do good. I probably would never have ecountered something like that in real life, as I live in the U.S. and it's damn near impossible to starve here.

    As for getting inspired by fictional character -- like, trying to live a good life imitating a character in a book -- that's fine. We take our heroes from our society, and part of our society's culture involves books and stories. Tales of heroes like Beowulf, or O. van Kortland, or Lewis & Clark, or Jesus Christ (a legend even if he existed, which some doubt), or Ivan of Russia, or Gustav II Adolf.

    Besides, who we are may or may not have anything to do with how people perceive us. Some of the nicest people may stab you in the back later; a grouch may be rude and cruel but beat the living shout of a guy who forces himself on a girl at a party. In other words -- the people we see around us, the real-life heroes who inspire us, may not actually be as awesome. They may be flawed, in many ways, or just lucky. Their projected personalities, however, are essentially stories which we tell each other: "So no ****, there I was, back to the wall, and the mugger with the pipe stepped forward, right, and then outta nowhere this dude built like a lumberjack tackles him! Just threw him to the ground..."

    It's all part of a spectrum. People leave a legacy behind, sometimes, that only shows a small part of them. These legacies are sometimes exaggerated, sometimes false, but aren't much different from the "fictional" heroes in books, some of whom actually are pretty close to real people.

    And if your life is hard, and you don't have many heroes in real life to look up to, there is nothing wrong with looking up to book characters. Fiction is tall tales, but sometimes those tales hold a lot of truth in them even so.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Islander

    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

    Jul 29, 2008
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    It's natural for people to seek role models for how they should think and act. Humanity is a species which learns through imitation. If there are no good role models in real life, a fictional one may do. Just keep in mind that fictional characters can be very unrealistic - they can act in a way which would never work in real life. The self-sacrificing hero, the relentless individualist, the uncompromising idealist - they may succeed beyond expectations in fiction, but if you try to act like them in real life, you may end up running into walls.
    1 person likes this.
  4. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    i don't 'relate to' or 'ape' any literary characters and never have done... don't know anyone else who does, either...

    but your question is very confused/confusing... see if you can make it a bit clearer...
  5. Elgaisma

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Jun 12, 2010
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    Oh I do I have heroines from everywhere lol

    Jo March from Little Women, Elizabeth Bennett Pride and Prejudice, Jo from Chalet School, Miss Marple, Margery Whitaker Mist Over Pendle, Temperance Brennan Kathy Reichs books. Nancy Drew. Katy from Katy Did Books. Oh and loads more:)

    I have them from TV and History, Have inspired my life, not to mention strong amazing women in my real life.

    I also from the age of 9 had a massive crush on Frank Hardy, however at 25 I realised it was becoming a little indecent now I have to read it remembering he is a nice kids:)
  6. Aeschylus

    Aeschylus Contributing Member

    Jun 19, 2009
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    Washington, DC
    I have no idea what your question is.

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