Monday, 13 September 2010

"What did you read about

when you were a kid? Did you read about things you wanted to do - I mean in story books?"
The Whirlwind asked me this question yesterday. "Like even if it was not real did you think you would want to do those things?"
When I finally sorted out what she actually meant it seemed to come down to, "Did you ever want to be one of the characters in a book you read and have the same things happen to you?"
I told her yes and that most people, at least those with any imagination at all, probably wanted to be a fictional character at some point in their lives.
"Well which ones did you want to be?"
It seems there is a school project. The Whirlwind has to think of three characters she would like to be and write something about why she would like or not like to be them. The Whirlwind does research before she starts such things. She does not recognise it as research but she has asked me, she will ask her father and she will almost certainly ask anyone else who might give her an answer. Only then will she consider her own answer and write something down. Like most such school projects she has a time limit but it is long enough to allow her the luxury of a little research.
Her own choices, when she eventually makes them, will interest me. She has read widely from my bookshelves as well as the school and local library. I wonder if she will choose characters who are secure or insecure, brave, foolish, wise or funny? Will they be realistic or fanciful and what will they have experienced?
I encourage such research and, in the interests of that, I promised to ask more people. If you are a reader of this blog and you had a special character or characters in your childhood reading then will you please write them into the comments section? The Whirlwind, my young neighbour and friend, would like to know.


Sheep Rustler said...

I had an alter ego who I would insert into the story I was reading at the time and who would have adventures with the characters already in the story. I never really wanted to be any of them, I wanted to be WITH them. To tell the truth I still do that :) I will be fascinated to hear what she comes up with.

Anonymous said...

Like Sheep Rustler I wanted to be with a lot of them, but couldn't decide for a long time if I wanted to be Cherry Ames, RN or Biggles. I think Biggles won out, because I joined the navy!

Judy B

catdownunder said...

Mmm - someone else just told me he wanted to go with Simon Black - I am wondering whether this "with" rather than "be" is significant? Hope there are some more answers for her!

Frances said...

Cat,I've thought about this a bit, and it seems to me that I wanted to be part of very warm, loving stimulating family...(in some ways, in retrospect, my family would have had or wanted to have these qualities, but not as compressed and intense as in books). Or, I would have liked to be part of a warm, friendly and accepting group, like the Famous Five - (always read surreptitiously, because my mother deemed them "trash").
Coincedentally, a friend recently asked whom I would choose to be. She nominated Geraldine Doogue and another radio2 personlity as her desired personas. I really couldn't come up with anyone. I've asked several people since, and, again, they are rather flabbergasted: it seems that many people, even though aware of their own weaknesses, limitations and lapses, still choose to be their own selves hewing their own paths.

What about you, Cat? Is there some fictional or real world character that you would like to be?