Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Classics Salon - Character You Relate To

Saari at Mangoes and Cherry Blossoms is hosting a weekly Classics Salon wherein participants chat about the classic works of literature we are currently reading.  She posts a discussion prompt, and for this, the 2nd week, her prompt is:

If you could be any character in the current classic you are reading (or in the last classic you read) who would you be and why? In other words, tell us something about any character you find yourself relating to or empathising or sympathising with. 

Since I'm reading two classics at the moment, Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, I'll respond with thoughts on both books. Framley Parsonage - the heroine, Lucy Robards, definitely is the most attractive character of the lot.  She is quietly witty, keeps her own counsel, feels deeply, tries to do what is right and just, is loyal and interesting.  I'm not sure that I empathize with her as much as I admire her, but there's a lot there to like.  By contrast, her sister-in-law, Fanny Robards, has many of the same qualities but indulges in hero worship more than is wise, at least with regards to her relationship to Lady Lufton, her husband's patroness.  I'm finally starting to see the Pride and Prejudice connection with Framley Parsonage, with Mark Robards as Mr. Collins, though without being the writhing buffoon that Collins is, and Fanny as the practical Charlotte Collins, Lady Lufton as the overbearing patroness, Lady Catherine, dear Lucy in the role of Elizabeth Bennet, and Lord Lufton as love-sick Mr. Darcy.

Lord Lufton and Lucy Robards
Now, on to David Copperfield - I can't say I particularly empathize with David, though I enjoy his journey to maturity and root for him heartily.  I'm neither a Clara Copperfield, nor an Agnes Wickfield, nor a Dora Spenlow, and I hope I'm not an Aunt Betsey.  I can't imagine rejecting a nephew because he wasn't a niece, nor do I think donkeys are plagues upon respectable people, but her generosity and embrace of the disenfranchised, both David and Mr. Dick, make her wonderful in my eyes.  I suppose the character to whom I can connect most on a personal level is dear Peggotty, David's nurse and lifelong friend.  All she really wants is a comfortable home and a quiet, purposeful life.  She values her family and is fierce in her protection of them and her friends, whom she makes into family.  

Aunt Betsey and Peggotty


  1. The fact that this is a fascinating topic and the fact that we are on oddly parallel reading tracks makes this post so interesting to me.

    Though I do not identify with him entirely, there are definitely aspects relating to David Cooperfield's mind, experiences and attitudes that I relate to in terms of my own youth. It seems that Dickens has captured certain common experience boys to experience.

    Lucy Robards is certainly worthy of admiration. The character that I relate to the most in this series appears in the last two books however.

  2. Framley Parsonage is definitely among my favorite of Trollope's books. It has such strong female characters, including Mrs Crawley, and I can sympathize with all of them, except Mrs. Proudie :)

  3. I recall mom speaking of Pegotty as one of her favourite characters in "David Copperfield". I have never read this book, and I'm not so sure I will, but it's nice to know what it is about various characters that appeal to different readers. She sounds homely and bubbly.

    As for the Trollope...the comparisons you draw with "Pride and Prejudice" make it sound appealing...

  4. Dear Jane,

    am just popping in to say that I have deleted my blog (Mangoes and Cherry Blossoms). It was a spur-of-the-moment action, but it was something I needed to do. I apologise for leaving you all just when I had begun the Classics Salon. I had been greatly looking forward to it, but personal reasons decided me on the course of action I took.

    I also want to thank you for stopping by and showing so much enthusiasm for the meme. It makes me even sadder that I have to disappoint.

    I hope you continue to enjoy your reading and give your insightful thoughts!

    best regards,

  5. I just reread David Copperfield. I liked it very much the first time, and my opinion improved significantly with the reread. My review: http://100greatestnovelsofalltimequest.blogspot.com/2015/06/david-copperfield-by-charles-dickens-50.html