My Top 10 Favorite Characters in the Classic Book Genre

For the first time (I mean, this is only my fourth post, after all), I am participating in The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday topic, and I hope I will be able to participate in this every week or so. This week the topic is the top ten favorite characters in the genre of our choosing. I gave this some thought, and was surprised that the easiest list to form was 10 characters for was classics, but I suppose this is because I had to read so many classic books for school. Unfortunately, for three novels I chose 2 characters, making up 6/10 of the list and not providing much variety. I thought about bending the rules and doing a Top 5 Classic Characters and Top 5 Dystopia Characters, and while the latter was quite easy to compile, it was hard to whittle my Top 10 to a Top 5 . (Perhaps we’ll see the Top 5 Dystopia characters in a future post…) So all that to say, sorry for all the repeat novels and my lack of variety. Some criteria: I had to have actually read the book, of course, and not just seen the movie (so this eliminated possibilities such as Emma and Lord of the Rings). I also have to remember liking the character distinctly from the book (I liked Bilbo Baggins fine in the book The Hobbit, but I enjoyed him more in the movie; of course I think Pride and Prejudice, since I saw the movie before I read the book, probably suffered from a prejudice while reading). And just so you don’t think I’ve only read 6 classic novels (though I admit there are many more I need to read), there are several classics I did not find one character that I particularly loved and the story was more about the message for me (like The Picture of Dorian Gray), or I just hated the book (that’s a long list). So with all that out of the way, on to my list…

1o. Catherine, Northanger Abbey


I don’t think of Catherine as a particularly extraordinary character, but maybe that’s why I like her. She’s nice and normal, and you’re happy for her when she finds love. Sometimes, it’s best to keep it simple.

9. Narrator, Rebecca


I read the book in tenth grade and then watched Alfred Hitchcock’s take on it and remember really enjoying both. It’s amazing to me how much a character can resonate with you, and how personal she can feel, when you don’t even know her name.

8. Sonya; 7. Raskolinkov (Crime and Punishment)


I read this novel for AP English my senior year of high school, and it made such an impact on me that I revisited it for my creative thesis project for the Honors College four years later. Sonya is a great redemptive character who has been through so much herself, but helps Raskolinkov when he opens up to her about what he has done. And though you cannot help but wonder if Raskolinkov is off his rocker, what I love about his character is that he is so human. The crime he commits wracks him with guilt, and he cannot be made whole again until he suffers the punishment.

6. Sherlock Holmes, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes


Of course Robert Downey Jr. plays the role of Sherlock Holmes so brilliantly, but I remember reading the stories of Sherlock Holmes and just being struck by how smart he was. I loved that he could pick up on the details that no one else could. He is definitely a fascinating character.

5. Aslan, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe


I considered Peter and Lucy for this list as well, as I love them both dearly, but Aslan imparts such wisdom and I just love him throughout the whole series of books. He always says and does the right things at the right times (no surprise since he represents Jesus). He is definitely a good lion… but not a tame one.

4. Mr. Darcy; 3. Elizabeth (Pride and Prejudice)


Sorry to put them in Top 10 lists right in a row, but I couldn’t help it. How can I not love this witty, intelligent, made-for-each other couple? Their individual personalities, the interactions between them… they’re just great characters! And by the way, if you love Pride and Prejudice as much as I do, stay tuned to the very end of the post!

2. Laurie; 1. Jo (Little Women)


Well, number one should not be too shocking considering the title of this blog. But I also absolutely adore Laurie. I think my heart shattered into a thousand pieces when Jo rejected Laurie (it still hurts my heart every time I revisit the story), but I also had the thought, Well heck, I’ll take him! And of course, what makes Laurie even more awesome in the film is that he is played by Christian Bale. But seriously, I love how playful and loyal Laurie is, and Jo and I are practically the same person in some ways.

If you enjoyed my list, be sure to check out some of the others who participated!

Also, if you love Pride and Prejudice, you’ll probably love this web video series I found yesterday called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. It’s a modern-day adaptation of the story all told through Lizze’s vlog. It’s a simple format but it has good production, the writing  is smart, the characters are spot-on, and the the way they adapt certain situations for modern times is well done. There is some mild language in some of the episodes, just as a warning. I may or may not have spent my day off yesterday watching every.single.episode. Yep. I found it that addicting. Watch the first episode (and the proceeding 88) right here:

So who are your favorite characters from classic literature?

3 Responses to My Top 10 Favorite Characters in the Classic Book Genre

  1. Very interesting list. Thanks for sharing your favorite characters! Just off the cuff, mine are (and not in order):

    1) Bilbo Baggins
    2) Gandolf
    3) Raskolnikov (I wanna see this guy in a movie!)
    4) Gramma Mazur from “One for the Money” (I know it’s not a classic, but I LOVED her)
    5) Changez from The Reluctant Fundamentalist
    6) Misha the Penguin from Death and the Penguin (he didn’t have a big role; I want to see more)
    7) Mr. Darcy
    8) Scarlet O’Hara (although I haven’t read Gone with the Wind)
    Rhett Butler
    9) Sergei Dolatov (in any book he wrote; he’s just funny)
    10) Charlie Gordon in Flowers for Algernon

    Whew! That was a challenge! 🙂

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