My Heroes

No, I don’t mean real life heroes. I mean fictional heroes from your favorite books. What made these characters memorable? What was it about them that made you love them?

For me, a good book is not only with a great storyline, but I have to feel attached to the characters. If I can’t understand the characters, I have a hard time getting into the book.

I’ve been a huge reader my whole life. I love to read. Some of the characters that stand out to me, probably started as early as my high school years. I took American Literature and World Literature in high school, and I got the opportunity to read some amazing novels that I still remember to this day.

 My high school “heroes”:

Finny(Phineas) from “A Separate Peace” by John Knowles: I fell hard for Finny. He was the idealistic one, the one of pure heart. He was the giver in the friendship, and continued to forgive his best friend, even though his life (with his leg) was shattered because of his best friend’s actions. Finny eventually dies, and I remember it broke my heart. It didn’t seem fair. He was the good one, and the good ones are not supposed to suffer like that! He was one of my heroes because through the entire novel, he believed in the good of others, the one who continued to forgive.

Billy Budd from Billy Budd by Herman Melville : Ah, another tragic hero. It disturbed me so much that Billy Budd suffered like he did. He was liked by everybody, and didn’t have a mean bone in his body. In this novel, we see another “jealousy” plot, which leads to a murder accusation. Billy Budd gets sentenced and is hung at the end. Really? Billy Bud had a heart of gold, and he captured the readers’ love. I will always remember Billy Budd.

Rodion Raskolnikov From Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky: No, he was not a hero, but for some reason, his character had a huge impact on me. As disturbing as this story was, I will always remember it. I believe it was because of Raskolnikov. Although he was a brutal murderer, he touched me. I couldn’t help but wish a happy ending for him.

 The “heroes” from my readings as an adult:

Harry Potter from Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: The orphan boy who grows up to be a famous wizard and kills the evil Voldemort! How can anybody not love the hero, Harry Potter, who saves the world?

Edward Cullen from Twilight by Stephanie Meyer: Need I say more?

Dimitri Belikov from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead: I love hot, badass guys. And Dimitri was definitely hot and a badass! Even when he went evil, I was still drawn to him (to some degree even more because he still was still protecting the love of his life)!

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins: Katniss is feisty and strong. She’s a survivor and I like my female characters to not be weak and wait for their Knight In Shining Armor to save them. Katniss was not only able to save herself but Peeta as well!

Gale Hawthorne from The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins: He is a badass (and like I say, I love badass guys), and like Katniss, a survivor. I think Gale got screwed in the series, and for me he’s my tragic hero. He would have done anything for Katniss. No, I’m not upset that she didn’t pick him, but I can’t believe she pushed him out of her life, even though he was always there for her and her family. I’m still bitter about that!

Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins: He was a gentle soul and loved Katniss with his life. He would have died for her. Doesn’t everyone search for that type of unconditional love?

Hassan from The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: This guy is as good as they come. He had a beautiful soul inside and out. It breaks my heart how much he suffered as a boy and as a man. Not fair! I loved Hassan, and for me, he will always be a true hero!

Mariam and Laila from A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini: I will forever remember these two women. No matter how many times they fell, they got back up and stood up tall. Their strength and their friendship helped them through the worst times. To me, their characters symbolize all women’s perseverance through their suffering.

Enzo from The Art of Racing In The Rain: Can I get enough of Enzo? How can anybody not love Enzo? In this story, the dog, Enzo, is my hero. He stands by his owner through all the ups and downs of life. Enzo is truly a “man’s best friend” as this story is written from his point of view. Brilliant!

James (Jamie) Fraser from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: Ah, Jamie! Jamie starts as a young man of pride and integrity, and grows up to be a fierce warrior. Jamie loves Claire and would sacrifice his life to protect her. One of my favorite scenes from the book is when Claire tries to talk him out of marriage and asks if it bothers him that she’s not even a virgin. Jamie replies, “Well no… so long as it doesn’t bother you that I am.” He continues, “One of (them) should know what they’re doing.” Jamie Frasier, what a man!

These are few of my fiction heroes from some of my favorite books! What do you guys think? Did I forget anybody? I would love to hear which characters you were drawn to from your favorite books!

About Jalpa Williby

Jalpa Williby was born in India and immigrated to the United States at the tender age of eight. A voracious reader, Williby’s adolescence was marked by a promising academic career. After graduating with a Bachelors of Science from the University of Illinois, Williby went on to earn her Masters Degree in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University. Her passion for helping her patients led her to a specialty in neuroscience, focusing on children and adults with neurological impairments. For the past 20 years, Williby has worked as a Physical Therapist, a career she loves because she gets to make a difference, “One person at a time!” When she is not working, she enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her husband and her three children. Juggling her time as a wife, a mother, and working fulltime, her love and passion for books never subsided. Some of her favorite books are A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Twilight Series, and The Hunger Games Trilogy. When asked what inspired her to write her debut novel, Chaysing Dreams, Williby answers simply, “Because I have a story to share.”

Posted on March 17, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I loved Dimitri! Did you ever read the Mortal Instruments series? I was intrigued by Jace! I think he should be on this list!

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  2. You hit several the nails on their heads. I internally rejoiced when you added Jamie from the “Highlander” series to your list. I’d add John Thornton from Elizabeth Gaskell’s “North and South” and Melanie Stryder and Wanda from Stephanie Meyer’s “The Host.”

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  3. I agree with all the heroes, especially Harry potter. I like the way you think.

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  4. Oh yeah! I forgot about Jacob from Water From Elephants! And Rob Pattinson played him perfectly in the movie! ❤

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  5. Jigisha Thakkar

    Pi(Piscine)…from Life of Pi.

    “What a terrible thing it is to botch a farewell. I am a person who believes in form, in the harmony of order. Where we can, we must give things a meaningful shape. For example – I wonder – could you tell my jumbled story in exactly one hundred chapters, not one more, not one less? I’ll tell you, that’s one thing I have about my nickname, the way the number runs on forever. It’s important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse. That bungled goodbye hurts me to this day. I wish so much that I’d had one last look at him in the lifeboat, that I’d provoked him a little, so that I was on his mind. I wish I had said to him then – yes, I know, to a tiger, but still – I wish I had said, “Richard Parker, it’s over. We have survived. Can you believe it? I owe you more gratitude than I can express I couldn’t have done it without you. I would like to say it formally: Richard Parker, thank you. Thank you for saving my life. And now go where you must. You have known the confined freedom of a zoo most of your life; now you will know the free confinement of a jungle. I wish you all the best with it. Watch out for Man. He is not your friend. But I hope you will remember me as a friend. I will never forget you , that is certain. You will always be with me, in my heart. What is that hiss? Ah, our boat has touched sand. So farewell, Richard Parker, farewell. God be with you.”

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    • Oh, I love Pi and Richard Parker! How can I forget them??? Your write up from the book just gave me goose bumps! What a great book, and Pi was a hero indeed! (I loved the movie as well!)

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  6. How about Lizbeth Salandar from Girl With the Dragon Tatoo, talk about badass girls!

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