Role Models In Literature

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade January 2002

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The characters found in works of fictional literature are often based upon the ideals and conventions held by society. These stereotypical designations begin in early childhood with heroic tales of valiant and courageous young princes, magnificent dragons, powerful sorceresses and breathtakingly beautiful damsels. From the very beginning of our lives we have role models found in the world of fiction, people we respect who do not actually exist. These characters act not only to sculpt and to mold our personalities but also to determine the way we perceive others, and ourselves. Why do we allow something which is not real to have such an incredibly real impact on our lives? The answer to that question is rooted deep within the human psyche and is certainly well beyond the scope of this essay. Simply put, people tend to identify with the characters in literature whom they preserve as ideal images of themselves.

They may adopt certain characteristics or mannerisms of the character in question, an infatuation of sorts, a quest to become more.

Throughout the English 20 course, I was given the opportunity to meet countless people; people crafted from nothing but words and letters. These individuals, consisting physically of none other than ink blots upon an otherwise empty page, have the ability to touch and change our lives and to change them for worse or better. Alongside many of these characters I could identify with their feelings and their problems relating to their situations. Some of them I could relate to people I knew or had known in my life, others I could relate to similar fictional characters I had come to know in the past, a few of them I could even relate to myself. A few of the figures I respected, while a great many of them I...