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Re: Least Favourite Character!


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Posted by Alex Forbes on September 01, 2018 at 15:52:45 user Pitsligo.

In Reply to: Re: Least Favourite Character! posted by Jo on September 01, 2018 at 07:10:08:

I'm going to go way out on the limb of heresy: Roger and Nancy are tied for my least-favorite characters.

For the reasons already noted by others, Roger is perpetually annoying; to me, it's in the way a much-tolerated baby of the family can be. Accomodated in his cheekiness and irresponsibility because his elders mitigate his influence. When I was a child, "Don't be a Roger" was my father's admonition when I was becoming annoying. It never failed to sober me.

Nancy, on the other hand, is a little too perfect. AR adored that character, and it shows --not necessarily in a good way. Her overshadowing of the others, especially Peggy, grows tedious. I knew too many "Golden Children" throughout my youth (and even a few now) that were a bit too much like Nancy. No more perfect than any of the rest of us, but somehow always able to appear so, and to call the shots as they wanted. When I very first read SW, I wanted to stand up and cheer at the appearance of the Amazons. Now that point just marks the beginning of Nancy trying to take over the story.

While she is irksome in her perfection, it isn't that I *dis*like the character so much as I dislike Roger, but I have come to find myself skimming past the Nancy scenes because the character struggles so little. Struggle is interesting, in characters, and Nancy doesn't do so much of it as others do. So from my vantage as a writer, she simply isn't very interesting. AR loved her too much to give her any valuable flaws.

We see John shoulder the responsibilities of leadership throughout the books. We see Susan's worries for her own responsibilities: the logisitics and support that make or break any expedition. We see Titty struggle many times, both with uncertainties and with skills that she develops and builds on throughout the stories; likewise Dick and Dot. Peggy is disappointingly under-developed as a character (I often think there should have been only three Swallows so that Peggy could have had more room to be developed as a distinct character), but even in her we see glimpses of interesting imperfections and insecurities that she struggles with. Roger is annoying, but over the course of the books we do watch him climbing a ladder of accomplishment; as an "Egyptian" (SW) we even catch a glimpse of some maturity under pressure. But Nancy just seems to exist in a perpetual halo, unchallenged, unafraid, without much room to grow, and to me that isn't very interesting.

Alex




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