My Favorite Fictional Character Was Always Thankful

We all have fictional characters that we have sort of fallen in love with even though they are not real. That is the whole point of a great movie, book or TV show - to create characters that seem real, that we can connect to personally, that represent something we can identify with on some level.

I can think of tons of characters in fiction that I adore. My favorite is when the creator of the character balances the good and the bad. No one is entirely good and even most bad people have some redeemable quality about them, which is why I love a good villain with a soft spot somewhere!

However, my all time favorite fictional character is one that I feel I have sort of grown up with. I became acquainted with her when I was a child and she was a child and I watched her grow and I feel like as I have grown she has grown with me. This character, of course, is Anne of Green Gables main character, Anne Shirley.

Anne was feisty without ever intending to be. She never wanted attention, but she couldn't escape being the focus of other people with her odd charms and stubborn and principled behavior. She was an introvert who dearly wanted the world to be better than it was, she lived by her ideals and she made other people's lives better just by being a part of it.

When I think of my favorite stories of Anne, I think of the little girl who raced across the snow covered acre to care for her best friend's little sister sick with the croup when no doctor was available. That even at her tender age, she hid her fear behind composure and reassurance. I think about her dreaming of going to college, the sacrifices she made to ensure she would pass the placement exams and her harrowing struggle with geometry, and yet her resolve to overcome. I think of the tenderness and love she felt for the people who adopted her and brought her into their home and that she had a fiercely loyal and passionate regard for them her whole life, even when they feared she had "outgrown" them.

In everything, Anne was thankful. She was thankful for the big moments where she graduated, got a prestigious position at a girl's college, and when she entered her first home as a bride. But she was thankful for everything. She was thankful for the trees on her walk home, for the bright moonlight over Green Gables, for the "white way of delight" and the apple blossoms outside of her window. One of her most famous lines is "I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." She was perpetually grateful.

And it's funny because as I think of Anne I know she was sort of my hero growing up, this girl who really had nothing going for her but - taking no excuses - made her dreams come true. And in some ways I can relate to her relentless pursuit of the things she wanted the most, and her gradual acceptance and appreciation for the things she could not change. But in a lot of ways, I am also nothing like Anne, though I have long aspired to be.

But when one uses the Myers Briggs personality test as a resource, and they often analyze and categorize the traits of fictional characters for fun, one can see that Anne is an INFP.

And I realize my heart is just drawn to this personality type, though much different from mine, because my husband is also an INFP. He also has the sentimental, idealized world always in his sight, making the lives of those around him better just by being a part of it, being passionate in a quiet and unassuming way.

I am nearly thirty years older than I was the first time I read the Anne of Green Gables books, but I still think of Anne when things start going askew. And when I have a bad day I think of her wise words, "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"


  1. Hope you don't get sick of me saying: Very well written!

    After I read the first paragraph, I had to pause to think about which character I admire or relate to. There are of course characters that I think are super cool, like James Bond or Ethan Hunt, but I wouldn't say I admire or relate to them.

    The Earl of Grantham from Downton Abbey came to mind quickly for some reason. I don't think I relate to him, but I admire him. An aristocrat that almost doesn't have that feel of being one. Except that episode when they were talking about downsizing the number of servants in their house! LOL But his care and loyalty to his family and "extended" family in the lower levels is what I admire. For example in the first season when they let go of John Bates, but as he was leaving in the car, the Earl stopped him to give him his position back. He doesn't need the best valet, just one that he cares about, trusts, and wants around him!

    As for relating to, you won't find that character in a book. Only on screen. Any show that has a short Asian guy, glasses, by himself, and in the background to fill the scene. Important in the grand scheme, but not in front to get the attention. But don't get me wrong, I don't want the attention.


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