The Tale Of The Three Characters

Matilda[1]I.

The first character I really related to was Matilda from the eponymous book by Roald Dahl. I was about five or six, not much older than her. I think I fell in love with Dahl’s writing partially because here was someone like me. Matilda is a child prodigy whose family ignores her. I wasn’t a prodigy but I was quite smart for a little kid and the other kids at school made fun of me for that. At the time I also don’t think I knew any other kids besides this fictional character who loved to read as much as I did (and still do).

I reread Matilda and was struck by how much I still relate to her. Matilda develops a kind of magical power where she can control objects with her brain. At the end of the book this disappears and her teacher theorizes that it was due to not being challenged but now it’s gone because she needs her brainpower for other things. (She was smart enough to be with kids twice her age but the nasty Headmistress wouldn’t let her, so Matilda used her powers to get rid of her.) This is what I feel about my intelligence. When I was little I was just so far ahead of most other kids. Now things have evened out. My skills/knowledge in language arts probably still surpass that of most kids and I’m several years ahead in math (only because I do it during the summer so I don’t forget), but now I have to work to do well. The sense of everything being magically easy is gone and I struggle with it a bit because that’s not how things used to be.

II.If you don't think those glasses are weird, you're a Ravenclaw.

I think most people would expect me to see myself in Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, and I think I did for a time. On the surface we’re very alike. We wear and say weird things, are unafraid to speak our minds, and are intelligent oddballs. But I don’t feel much like Luna deep down. Pottermore Sorted me into Ravenclaw, same as her, and I was disappointed.

I feel like a Slytherin. Ravenclaws and Slytherins are two sides of the same coin – intelligence. Ravenclaws are the eccentric side that collects knowledge while Slytherins are the ambitious side that puts it to practical use. I think having knowledge is important, but using it is more important. So despite my oddness, I’m not a Luna. If we’re sticking strictly to female Slytherins, there’s Pansy Parkinson (too nasty), Narcissa Malfoy (an awesome character, but a huge part of her character is her struggles as a mother and I obviously can’t relate to that) and Bellatrix Lestrange (too ruthless). I don’t know that there’s really any character in Harry Potter I see myself as.

III.

pippin[1]For a while there wasn’t any character I really identified with, but now there’s Peregrin Took from the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. Go ahead and laugh all you want. I think not caring if you find me funny is proof that I’m like him.Β  Pippin is the youngest and least experienced member of the Fellowship. He’s something of a fool. I’m not the youngest in my family but among my friends I usually am. Furthermore, the rest of my family is left-brained while I’m very right-brained so I often feel like the stupid one. And I’m kind of a fool; you already knew that. I wouldn’t be surprised if people describe me as the “goofy, jokey, dorky one” who is rarely taken seriously.

At first I couldn’t understand how anyone could like Pippin (or his cousin Merry) because all he did was tag along and get stoned on hobbit-weed! And then in the third book he became awesome. When he goes to Gondor with Gandalf he’s still foolish, first screwing up the wizard’s plans by letting slip to Denethor that his son was dead and then becoming loyal to him which is the stupidest idea in the world because Denethor’s insane. But Pippin makes up for that by becoming incredibly brave, trying to persuade Denethor to lead Gondor and not kill himself, and helping to rescue Faramir from being burnt alive. I think his is the best character development in the trilogy; he goes from being carefree and rather stupid to surviving the scariest adventure out of those of all the hobbits. Pippin reassures me. I hope that maybe someday I could be as brave as he is and show that I’m not just a fool!

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth, University of Iowa class of 2019. Double majoring in English & Creative Writing and Journalism. Twenty-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, and aspiring writer. Passionate about feminism and lesbian positivity.
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23 Responses to The Tale Of The Three Characters

  1. I remember reading Matilda when I was in sixth grade, about an hour a day in the school library where I would sit and wait for my next class to begin. I also identified with her not because she was smart, but because she was a loner just like me. I sympathized every time someone would be mean to her unfairly without judging her, and I remembered a few key times when people had done the same to me.

    Also, you are TOTALLY a Luna. I know that you don’t see yourself as her/like her, but maybe it’s because the self that you portray to others is not the true self you know deep down (ugh I’m sounding like Umbridge). Anyway, you’re goofy like her, intelligent, and you know when to be serious. Totally a Luna. πŸ™‚

    • nevillegirl says:

      That’s my point – I think I seem like a Ravenclaw but deep down I don’t have the same stuff that they do. For example, the collecting-knowledge-thingy would be what an academic does and I don’t want that career at all. I’d rather be, like, Queen of the world…

  2. wolfluv745 says:

    I think the same thing about Pippin, but I preferred his character in the movies to his character in the books. Up until the Return of the King, at least. In the earlier books he was just so… annoying… but that changed as the story progressed.

    • nevillegirl says:

      I think I prefer film!Pippin for FotR and TT because he was barely mentioned in the books. Especially that scene with the vegetables. (Or maybe that was Merry? I’m getting my hobbits confused.)

  3. Charley R says:

    Huzzah! Excellent selection of characters to love there – and now a Rant In Defense Of Pippin.

    First of all, his age. I’ve not read the books in a long while, but Pippin is easily one of the younger members of the Fellowship. Put that up against the fact that’s he’s never held a sword or faced any sort of major threat in his life (being impaled on a pitchfork by Farmer Maggot aside), it’s incredibly brave of him to screw up his courage and take himself along with the others. Why? Because he wants to help. That’s incredibly selfless, and absolutely one of the bravest things any of the characters do. Namely because the rest of them have large swords and know which end is the pointy it.

    Secondly, Pippin is a derp. He makes mistakes, he nearly gets everyone torn apart by goblins, and he looks in the Scary Palantir even after Great Big Gandalf No-Nos. But he doesn’t give up because of that. He doesn’t let his failures define him. He keeps going because he believes it’s what he has to do. He’s scared, and he admits it. But at the same time he sees the value in Faramir where his father does not. He defends Faramir, he saves his life even! That’s a big job for a little hobbit. Why does he do it? BECAUSE HE KNOWS IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

    That’s really the essence of Pippin. He grows, he learns, and he screws up. But he doesn’t have to change entirely, because without him the whole venture would have ended very differently indeed (not in the least because there’d be one crispy fried steward’s son and a very lonely Shieldmaiden left alone at the end of it).

    And that is why Pippin is awesome and everyone else can go home.

  4. I have an unbelievable amount of love for Merry and Pippin, I thought they were great! Also ‘get stoned on Hobbit weed’ may be the best sentence I’ve read all day.

  5. themagicviolinist says:

    I was trying to figure out how I missed this, but then I realized that you posted this on my 13th birthday when I wasn’t on the computer at all. XD I was too busy watching “Friends” with my mom and riding in the front seat of the car for the first time.

    I think while Slytherins think intelligence is important, they’re really quite different from Ravenclaw. They admire cunning more, seeing as they use their intelligence in sneaky ways to get what they want, whereas Ravenclaws just collect intelligence to use it for whatever they want.

    I love Matilda! πŸ˜€ That is my absolute favorite Roald Dahl book! I read it about a year ago with my mom and brother. I’m pretty sure I interviewed Matilda on my blog, but I forget where . . .

    • nevillegirl says:

      Happy happy (late) wizard birthday! Ha ha, I like riding in the front seat as long as I don’t have to drive! Bleh. Driving means I can’t daydream.

      So they use intelligence to sneak around, basically. I think Slytherins would be great pranksters like the Weasleys if they wanted to. πŸ˜€

      I’m not sure what my favorite Dahl book is. I love The BFG and Boy (his autobiography of his childhood) too.

      • themagicviolinist says:

        Thanks! πŸ˜€ I like the front seat because I can choose all of the radio stations I want. *Evil grin* My brother likes a lot of dance music, and I really don’t.

        The Slytherins would be awesome pranksters! Intelligence is a wonderful tool. Especially if you’re surrounded by stupid people (like on Minecraft). You wouldn’t BELIEVE the stuff I see on there. I’m thinking about doing a blog post about it.

        • nevillegirl says:

          Ooh yes, that’s nice. πŸ˜€

          What’s Minecraft?

          • themagicviolinist says:

            Only the best computer game ever. That’s all.

            But seriously, Minecraft is a game that you can play single player or solo where you can play on survival mode (where you can die) or creative mode (if you just feel like chilling and building stuff). You build structures (houses, castles, statues, etc.), fight mobs (zombies, skeletons, creepers that blow things up, etc.), and mine for diamonds and other materials. You can play on servers with other players who can help you or sometimes try to kill you.

            It’s a great game! You should check it out! (And if you do get it, let me know and I can show you the ropes).

            • nevillegirl says:

              *doesn’t have time for computer games because TOO MUCH WRITING TO DO* xD But it sounds cool!

              • themagicviolinist says:

                LOL! XD Yeah, I haven’t done much Minecraft lately because I was too busy writing guest posts on blog, interviewing Miriam Joy (SQUEEEEE!!!!), finishing a novel, and editing another one. No complaints from this girl. πŸ˜‰ (I want to decorate a plain white T-Shirt and have it say “I’d Rather Be Writing.”)

  6. Pingback: Daughter Of Athena, Princess, Or Delinquent Girl Scout? – Teens Can Write, Too! August 2014 Blog Chain | Musings From Neville's Navel

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