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What your favourite classic book character says about you

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

For book readers, classic books are the general starting point and are the safest, or the most classic, route to kick-starting your reading journey. The main characters of classic novels are usually complex enough to resonate with the reader long after the book is finished. Although most people find it difficult to ultimately decide which classic protagonist is their favourite, you can always tell by how often they bring the character up in “book discussions” and how they defend their very apparent flaws like their lives depend on it. Do you find yourself getting carried away by romance, or do you daydream about jumping in a car and driving somewhere? Do you enjoy political speakers and stories? It’s all in the characters they root for or psychoanalyze in their free time.

Here’s a short list of some popular classic book protagonists and what it might say about you.

Heathcliff’s harsh loving

Wuthering Heights’ Heathcliff is one of the most talked about characters when it comes to toxic or forbidden love in books. He is charming, handsome, and absolutely crazy for the female protagonist, Catherine. Their chaotic extreme-hate-turns-into-love relationship is very similar to that of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, except Heathcliff’s lifestyle, is a lot harsher than Mr. Darcy’s, which makes his love style a lot harsher, too. 

If you have a passion for Heathcliff that tends to lead you to defend his character and actions when others are trash-talking him, you must be someone who likes to keep to yourself, not revealing too much about who you are or what you think. Some may find you cold, but you are happy to take the time to trust someone. You don’t expect anything from anyone, but that doesn’t mean you’re lonely and alone. You fall in love too easily, and you let it consume you.

The big influence of a little woman

Many readers resonate with a strong, influential character in an unfortunate or unaccommodating environment, and one of the most infamous examples is Jo March from Little Women. Jo is the spiritual awakening for many feminists. She sacrifices herself for her family and doesn’t succumb to societal pressures against women.

If Jo is your favourite character not only from the March sisters but also in general, you tend to take on some of her characteristics. When life throws you a curveball, you don’t let it get you down too much. Instead, you accept the new path with positivity. You constantly search for the bright side and make an effort to have an optimistic outlook on life. You think there is always something to be thankful for, even when circumstances are awful. What’s also so special about you is that you enjoy challenging societal norms.

The crimes of Raskolnikov

In Crime and Punishment, Rodion Raskolnikov gives a sense of emptiness and gloom. He is miserably lonesome and faces the dilemma of remaining this way. Throughout the novel, the consistent depictions of guilt, hate and illness leave the character with the overbearing need to understand Raskolnikov.

If you find yourself thinking of Raskolnikov and his struggles every now and then, you exude the kind of charisma and attitude that draw others to you. Because you’re always up for spontaneity, you’re the first person in the friend group to be called out for late-night drives or spontaneous travels. You challenge yourself to test your limits knowing that it could make or break you, and you go through multiple existential crises annually that may or may not be due to lowkey self-loathing.

Pigs and other farm animals

Napoleon’s character in Animal Farm symbolizes the political autocrats that have risen to power throughout human history, but to his fans, he’s so much more. I don’t mean to say that his lovers are into the character itself rather than loving how George Orwell included the strong character in the novel.

You are not the kind of person who can effectively comply with repressive laws. You are aware of others’ intentions and dislike being dominated. You feel agitated when sensing that you’re inferior in any way, which makes you an absolute perfectionist. You have proven yourself to be a great activist for issues you care about. Aside from having a thing for political discussions and debates, it’s difficult for you to find interest in worldly subjects.

📚 Related: Classic Books To Rediscover This Spring
Angi Kallas

Toronto MU '24

Angi Kallas is a Palestinian Canadian aspiring journalist procrastinating her way through life. She prioritizes her sleep first, so in her free time, she likes to write, read, psycho-analyze people, and chat with her cat Tubas.