Imagining fictional characters10:40 AM
How do you imagine Holden Caufield? What do you think Emma Bovary (and her husband's childhood hat) look like? Does Gatsby look more like Leonard diCaprio or Robert Redford?
The other day I came across The Composites, a website that uses a sketch software and book descriptions to make mug shots of literary characters. It's funny because the result is very realistic but the person being sketched is not actually real.
This got me thinking that some of those drawings, despite matching perfectly with the description given by the author, don't really match my own perception of the character.
I mean, the author gives you a description - some will offer more details, others less. Then the reader goes and puts in a lot of his own feelings and imagination. In a way, it's not only the author who decides what the character looks like. Think about it, each girl probably has her own image of what kind of man Mr. Darcy looks like.
I have a little system of my own. When reading a book, I try to picture a character according to the author's descriptions but I never follow them too strictly. Sometimes if the description and the character's personality match a famous person, usually an actor, I'll use that person's appearance.
For example, in Jane Austen's Emma, Mr. Frank Churchill looks like Adam Brody to me. He seems just like the type of guy who would suddenly leave town just to get a haircut in London.
|And who's to say Mr. Churchill isn't handsome too?|
Images via: 1, 2, 3
How do you picture your characters when you're reading? I'd love to hear what actors you think your favorite characters look like!