Reading books was a hobby I picked up pretty early in life. I have lived in books more than I’ve lived anywhere else. So the lessons that I learned through these different worlds stayed with me for a long time. I’d like to share with you some of the lessons I learned from the books that became beloved to me, along with their characters.
Charlie – The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Although the narrator in the novel remains without a name throughout, the movie calls him Charlie. Through his eyes, we observe his life. We begin to understand why he seems so cut off from the world. While the themes of this novel were quite heavy, the lesson that comes with it proves to be heavier. It comes as a warning that not everything we see is necessarily that way. The book taught me that people who are quiet, often need the most help.
Hermione Granger – Harry Potter
Reading books can save lives, and Hermione is proof of that. Throughout the stories, she’s described by other people as an insufferable know-it-all. But when the time comes, she’s the one who comes to Harry and Ron’s rescue without a second thought.
Alice – Alice in Wonderland
While written off most times as a children’s book, Alice teaches us many lessons. Ones that we might not understand ourselves as children. One of the best lines from the book that stayed with me over the years is, “I cannot go back to yesterday. I’m not the same person I was yesterday, you see.” As an adult, it made me realise we’re constantly changing and growing. And no matter how tempting, it’s not the wisest idea to go back to yesterday.
Elizabeth Allen – The Naughtiest Girl in the School
I read this book as a precocious child of eleven or twelve when the world had just discovered Harry Potter. I loved how Elizabeth was unlike any of Blyton’s other heroines. She was naughty and had to be sent away to boarding school. Being around other children did her a world of good. As a child, I could connect with her. She taught me that people aren’t all good or all bad. We have to find a balance between our worlds. And it’s okay to find that balance a little bit late in life.
Anne Shirley – Anne of Green Gables
A young girl of eleven, with two red plaits, and a vivid imagination – Anne was every child’s dream playmate. She was described as being able to invent games. Much like Elizabeth, Anne was also perpetually in trouble. She splashed in and out of trouble as ducks do out of water. What she taught me was that dreaming is important. It ultimately hands you the roadmap towards your future. The way she overcomes every adversary that comes her way and ultimately triumphs in life is what has made Anne an endeared character for all of us over the years.
Sweetie Nair – There’s Something About Sweetie
Although a contemporary read, Sandhya Menon’s Sweetie Nair has proved to be a champion for young girls everywhere. Equating being thin with happiness is something all of us have fallen victims to time and time again. The opposite of fat is not happy. It’s just a body type. And Sweetie Nair proves it. Constantly told that she needs to take care of herself and she’s unhealthy, Sweetie being the star-runner on her track team shows she’s more than just her body type. She’s an important role model to have, especially at a time teenagers put themselves under pressure to be nothing less than perfect. She taught me quite a few important lessons, as well. Accepting myself was probably the best one.
Have you learned any lessons from the characters in literature? Share them in the comments section.