Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Who's Your Valentine?

All around you rose petals line the walkways, chocolates rain from the sky, and violins serenade commuters on the subway.  That's right, it's Valentine's Day again.  If a bunch of gangsters being massacred in a dank Chicago garage can't rid us of this holiday, nothing can.  Yes my friends, it appears the holiday is here to stay; but if you're one of the many celebrating the season sans significant other, do not despair.  I've found you a date.  Don't worry, it's not a set up; you already know the guy.  In fact, you probably know him better than almost any man you've met.  You've been able to see into his thoughts, understand his motivations, and learn that - despite an occasional fault or two - he is one fantastic fellow.  I'm talking about your literary hero; the guy whose very name makes your heart beat a few paces quicker.  PeetaMr. DarcyGilbert Blythe - you're the lucky lady that gets to spend an entire evening curled up with him on the couch (and he won't even mind if you have garlic breath!).

What is it about flawed fictional characters that we find so hunky?  Is it that they learn to conquer their faults in the end?  Is it that we can see what they can't - that their faults stem from some internal modesty or self-deprecation?  Or is it that, despite how many stupid mistakes they make, we know their motivations are pure?    I'd argue that it's a bit of all three.  (For tips on making a character likable check out Jami Gold's fantastic article).  

For myself, I love a guy who is willing to sacrifice anything to do what it right.  And despite being a romantic to the core, I love a guy even more if he's ready to give up love to keep honor.  (If Jane Eyre were a man I'd be in love with her.  Instead I wish I could BE her).  Who is your favorite hero and what is it about him that makes you want to swoon?  


  1. When I think of literary "heart-throbs," my mind immediately goes to the romantic characters of classic literature. I thought of Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightly, Rhett Butler, Colonel Brandon (yes, I am an Austen fan!), Mr. Thornton, etc. These are all wonderful characters in their own right; however, I have to say that my literary hero is Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. He is not a romantic character in any way, but he is a good father, honest, hard-working, and lives with integrity. Those traits are my idea of a good man.

  2. Wow, I hadn't even thought of Atticus Finch. He is absolutely an amazing man, though he's not a particularly romantic character. Unless he's being played by Gregory Peck ;)

  3. I'm a sucker for the guys that love the heroine no matter what she puts him through. Guys like Jacob, Peeta and Colonel Brandon. Of course, I would never put them through so much hassle. ;)