As an avid reader and semi-lit nerd (I say “semi” because I don’t want to offend any English majors who read like it’s nobody’s business), I constantly find myself drawn to new characters. In fact, characterization is one of my favorite parts of reading and writing — I love watching new personalities come to life on the page!
Recently, when an essay question asked me to write about a person (dead or alive) who I would want to eat dinner with, my mind reverted back to the piles of books I’d read throughout the past sixteen years or so, and I couldn’t help but ask myself which fictional characters I would want to have dinner with. While I ultimately did not write about those characters in my essay, I did realize that I would be unable to narrow it down to one character. I would have to host an entire dinner party! 🙂
The Friday Five: Literary Characters I’d Invite to Dinner
1. Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)
Lizzy’s story may have taken place in the early 1800s, but everyone who has read Pride and Prejudice will recognize that she’s really a modern girl at heart. One of the most intellectual female characters in any book I’ve ever read, Elizabeth Bennett would likely contribute a spirited commentary on a particular social convention from her time. (Remind you of anyone? 😉 Maybe I should stop trying to flatter myself!) It would be interesting to hear her thoughts on women’s roles in society and the institution of marriage, especially compared to what we see in the world today.
2. Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Having been a crazy Harry Potter fanatic since third grade, I couldn’t have a party and not invite Hogwarts’ greatest Headmaster of all time. “Call me Al,” he’d instruct us, before either bestowing upon us some great wisdom or comparing the main course to an earwax-coated Bertie Bott Every Flavour Bean. Dumbledore would bring some much-needed eccentricity to the table, and perhaps when the meal was over, he would try to teach us all a few spells!
3. Lord Henry Wotton (The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde)
No fancy dinner party is complete without its resident troublemaker. Lord Henry Wotton — the same man who more or less convinced Dorian Gray to sell his soul for eternal youth, beauty, and gluttony — would indulge us with the cattiest of gossip and witty one-liners like “The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties,” and “It is only the intellectually lost who never argue,” and “To be popular one must be a mediocrity.” He and I might not see eye to eye on everything, but he’d certainly be entertaining to listen to!
4. Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote)
First, I would ask her where she bought her outfit, because she would clearly be the most fashionable person in the room (possibly excluding Dumbledore, depending on what robes he decided to wear). Then, after recognizing that I would be unable to afford the little black Givenchy dress or Tiffany’s jewelry, I would let Holly do the talking. One of my favorite literary characters portrayed by one of my favorite actresses, Holly would have countless socialite adventures to share, regaling us with stories of her visits to Sing Sing jail, her former farm life as Lula Mae, and more.
5. Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins)
Of course I would have to invite Katniss Everdeen, in honor of the release of the first Hunger Games film! Not only does Katniss have to compete in a televised fight-to-the-death with other teenagers, but she also has to compete against this guy she’s kind of falling for. She might not feel comfortable talking about the Hunger Games because they were a painful experience for her and her loved ones, but at the very least, she could enjoy a warm meal.
If you enjoyed this post, tune in next week to find out who wasn’t on the invite list for this dinner party! Comment below to share YOUR favorite literary characters.