Role models are an essential part of growing up.
Having positive and influential people to look up to helps develop who you are, who you want to be and which direction you want your life to go in.
Role models can be found anywhere: parents, sports people, musicians, teachers, the list is endless. Sometimes they’re not even real. However, their impact and what we can learn from them is still just as important.
Here are 10 inspirational characters from the world of literature.
Gamgee is a character created by J. R. R. Tolkien and is one of the bravest hobbits in The Lord of the Rings. Sam comes a from a small, simple community in the Shire but develops an enormous sense of adventure and hopes to experience life beyond his traditional culture. He is smart, courageous and a loyal friend and saves Frodo’s life on a number of occasions, refusing to leave him even when it looks like the two are destined for death.
J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter is one of the most famous fictional names in the world. He is strong-willed, focused and knows the difference between right and wrong. Despite his powerful abilities and fame, Harry maintains a level of modesty and humility and always puts others’ safety before his own. Even though he never chose the path he is set upon, he never complains or tries to avoid the great responsibility that has been thrust upon him.
The title character of Charlotte Bronté’s novel, Jane Eyre, has a tough childhood. Starved of affection, bullied and surrounded by negative people, Jane shows an inner determination and passion to better herself. She also values freedom and independence, even though she is a woman living in a very patriarchal society – admirable qualities that we can all learn a lot from.
The heroine of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, Katniss, is a fighter and a survivor. She’s been through numerous hardships but always stands up for what she believes in and looks to protect those closest to her as well as the vulnerable. She’s athletic, a quick thinker and is mature beyond her teenage years.
A detective unlike any other, Arthur Conan Doyle’s character is a maverick problem solver, blessed with an astute and logical mind. He also has an amazing eye for detail and is supremely confident in social situations due to his intellectual expertise. Sherlock never gives up on problem-solving however difficult or enigmatic it may be. It’s his determination to ensure justice that leads to his success.
Roald Dahl’s Matilda is a quiet, unassuming character who grows up being ignored by her selfish and neglectful parents. They fail to notice that she happens to be highly intelligent and has incredible telekinetic powers. Matilda understands that with great power comes great responsibility and she only ever uses her extraordinary abilities to punish wrongdoers or help the people that they are taking advantage of.
Winston Groom’s character is perhaps best known as being played by Tom Hanks in the film adaptation. Forrest is a man who looks at things, simply and truthfully. Despite having a low IQ he is full of wisdom and his positive outlook on life leads him on a series of wonderful adventures and experiences. Proof that positivity really does breed positivity.
Another of J.K. Rowling’s creations, Hermione has an exceptional intellect and excels at all things academic. Often bullied for her achievements, she still manages to maintain a level head and not retaliate. Hermione is also compassionate and quick to help others in a similar position.
Lyra is a complex lady. She is highly intelligent and has the ability to deceive for good and think quickly under pressure from a young age. As she gets older Philip Pullman’s character begins to hone these gifts and use them to save the lives of others.
A true individual and the lead character in The Catcher in the Rye, Caulfield is smart, caring and respectful. He questions everything and can see beyond the falseness of people at face value. He shows the importance of challenging societal behaviour and looking beyond the obvious.