Literary Characters to the Rescue!
Stranded on a deserted island. It’s a common theme in literature and TV, inspiring thrillers with outlandish characters (Polar bears on Lost, anyone?) as well as pages in my high school English journal (Who else scrutinized the meaning of the conch shell in Lord of the Flies?).
Today’s theme is the top ten literary characters that I’d like to have with me on a deserted island. They are in no particular order.
What’s she from?: Island of the Blue Dolphins
Author: Scott O’Dell
Why I want her with me on the island: One of the first survival stories I read was Island of the Blue Dolphins. Karana survives on her own, finds food and shelter and inspires courage in the face of obstacles. She’s also based on a real story from the 19th century.
2) Characters: Miranda and Prospero
What are they from?: The Tempest
Why I want them with me: They survived on a deserted island for many years and Prospero is a magician- useful! Although, you may wish to avoid them if your name is anything like Caliban…
By the way, Did you know that many people think that The Tempest was in part based on England’s new sea ventures and first permanent colony of Jamestown, Virginia? Talk about real life survival!
3) Character: Gandalf
Where’s he from?: The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Why I want him with me on the island: A wizard who always appears when you need him and he can call giant flying birds to help you get away? Yes, please!
The Boxcar Children (Violet, Henry, Benny and Jessie)
What are they from: The Boxcar Children series
Author: Gertrude Chandler Warner
Why I want them with me on the island: Surviving by themselves was never a problem for Violet, Henry, Benny and Jessie and some of their meals made out of practically nothing looked delicious. (I even have a Boxcar Children cookbook that I got for my 7th or 8th birthday.)
What’s he from?: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Why I want him with me on the island: Dr. Watson survived Afghanistan, knows medical treatment, and is a faithful friend. And anyone who can put up with Sherlock Holmes’ eccentricity is bound to be able to stay sane in unpredictable situations.
6) Character: Rose Justice
What’s she from?: Rose Under Fire
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Why I want her with me on the island: She survived much worse than a deserted island through her trials in WWII. She knows the meaning of friendship and she’s a pilot. She also happens to be a poet and we know the same camp songs to sing around the fire. With a tagline like “Survival means more than just staying alive” how could you not include Rose?
7) Character: The Golem
What is she from?: The Golem and the Jinni
Author: Helene Wecker
Why I want her with me on the island: She can walk underwater and never gets tired! She’s also a loyal and steadfast friend.
Celia and Marco (They’re kind of a two-for-one deal. BOGO magicians, if you will- bring one, get one free)
What are they from?: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Why I want them with me on the island: These two bring magic and tenacity, plus they have the ability of creating the impossible.
And, of course, there’s the whole ice thing, because islands are, you know, hot.
What’s he from?: The Odyssey
Why I want him with me on the island: Even though he gets distracted by a ton of things (including being Circe’s guest for a whole year!), he survives many sea troubles and finds his way home. After all, finding your way home is the second most important thing, after survival, on a deserted island.
10) Character: Aslan
What’s he from? :
Chronicles of Narnia series
Author: C.S. Lewis
Why I want him with me on the island: Like Gandalf, Aslan’s ability to appear and offer exactly what is needed would be a huge benefit!
Which literary characters would you want to step from the pages and assist you on a deserted island?
My best to you all,