A best friend is someone who shares your interests, ambitions, ideas and experiences. A best friend is there to offer advice, comfort, congratulations, support; whatever you need and whenever you need it. Books are said to good friends. Like a best friend, a good book can provide comfort in many a difficult situation.
While reading a book have you ever felt that a particular character could be your friend? Have you felt that you shared the feelings of this character? Did you feel that you could unburden yourself to this character; that you could discuss people, events and ideas with this character? Or that this character could help you with something in your life?
Who is the character that you would like to have as your best friend in real life? This idea for fictional best friends was introduced by Kristin. (You can check out her blog, Kristin Kraves Books, and her original blog post here).
I think Jane Austen’s character Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice wins the BFF (best friends forever) competition hands down. She is a very strong and supportive female lead, a feminist long before her time.
Elizabeth Bennet is a great person to have around to share good times, books, parties, nature walks. Yet she is even better to have at hand when the bad times roll around. Sympathetic, supportive and practical, she is not only there for her favourite sister Jane and her friend Charlotte, she is a pillar of strength for her family when her youngest sister elopes.
Josephine March, like Elizabeth Bennet, is a strong character with a mind of her own. Although possessing one sister less than Elizabeth Bennet, Louisa May Alcott has drawn her just as vividly in her classic novel Little Women. Jo helps her family whatever way she can going as far as selling her long thick hair to a wig maker when the family is in dire straits.
What makes her an ideal best friend for me is that she is an aspiring writer. She begins by making a newsmagazine for the entertainment of her family and friends. She goes on to write short stories and sells them to newspapers and magazines for much needed cash.
Had she been alive today, she may have launched a successful blog. My fellow bloggers and I could have taken writing tips from her and discussed our latest endeavours.
Miss Marple, that frail but extremely alert and intelligent sleuth created by Agatha Christie is everybody’s favourite spinster aunt. I would love to have her as a best friend, running to her for advice about real life situations as well as about my writing.
Miss Marple has an author nephew who sometimes makes an appearance in Christie’s books. I would like to have Miss Marple as my aunt too. In all the murders that Miss Marple solves, she manages to find village parallels, as well as in all other situations that she comes across. Her knowledge of human nature makes her an ideal best friend to turn to for advice.
This best friend business is one of give and take. The three characters that I have mentioned above are those that I would share experiences with and ask for advice for my benefit. Some of my favourite characters could benefit from my advice. Being able to give advice is part of the fun of the best friend phenomenon. Fictional best friends who could benefit from my advice include:
Vanity Fair by William Thackeray is one of the earlier English novels. It chronicles the rise and fall in fortune of Rebecca (Becky) Sharp. This sharp tongued and quick witted orphan manages to talk her way into wealth and status. However, lacking a wise (ahem) best friend like me to guide her, she makes some ill-fated choices that lead her to a tragic end. Although self-sufficient and self-possessed, her life would have been happier with a confidante who kept her on the straight and narrow.
The book makes for interesting reading despite being quite long. For those not inclined to such a lengthy read, Reese Witherspoon can be seen doing justice to the character in the Hollywood version.
The American Civil War forms the backdrop for Margaret Mitchell’s epic novel Gone With the Wind. Scarlett O’Hara, the impetuous and headstrong heroine of this saga is a character I would like to befriend.
Scarlett has sterling qualities of courage and initiative but she needs a best friend like me. I could have helped her recover from her broken heart over Ashley Wilkes and prevented her from marrying on the rebound. Despite her folly and errors of judgment, I would value her as a friend since she has the courage to say at the end when she has lost everything, “tomorrow is another day”.
We’re getting too serious. Let’s lighten the mood with a really fun heroine.
REBECCA (BECKY) BLOOMWOOD
Becky Bloomwood in Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopaholic would be such fun to go mall crawling with. Combining a pathological interest in clothes with a streak of frugality, I could have been such a good best friend for Becky. I would have kept her safe from all of her financial disasters.
Although I feel that a girl can never have too many scarves, I could have convinced Becky not to buy the now world famous “green scarf” if she didn’t have the money. But I am glad that she didn’t really have me as a best friend for then the delightful Shopaholic series would never have come into being.
Disclaimer: Do excuse me for continuously switching between past, present and future. I got confused in time and space trying to befriend my favourite characters.
Which character would you like to be your best friend? I would love to know and so would Kristin. Drop a line below and tell us.
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