Fictional characters’ impact on my life

Hannah Adams, Assistant Opinion Editor

For most people, there have been at least one or two fictional characters that influenced them at a young age. Whether it be aspects such as looks, personality, fashion or just overall demeanor, something about being young and witnessing fictional characters is heavily influential to personality developement. Growing up, I always had a vivid imagination, and there was a plethora of characters that caused me to change parts of myself to be more like them. 

Hermione Granger was probably the first fictional character to really inspire and impact me from a young age. I remember watching Harry Potter each year and wanting to match her intelligence and bravery as I got older. I always loved the way she was the smartest of the group and the fact that she was always referred to as the brightest witch of her age. It inspired me to want to do well in school and to work hard so that I would also be perceived as intelligent by others. In a Varsity Tutors essay written by Melanie of Covington, the author reflects on Hermione’s impact in her life. 

While reading the Harry Potter series, I saw so much of myself in Hermione, that I felt connected to her on a personal level,” Melanie said. “We shared similar viewpoints and I felt that I could follow her example and be a model student and even better friend. Hermione always found solutions to problems concerning her and her friends and I mimicked that aspect of her character. Hermione Granger was indeed a great role model for me, and for future generations of girls just like us.”

Another fictional character that has been monumental in my life is Brooke Davis. If you are not familiar with the show One Tree Hill, Brooke Davis was one of the most iconic female characters of modern television. She was funny, confident, sarcastic and completely unafraid of standing up for herself. Even today I sometimes go back and ask myself, “What would Brooke Davis do?” when I’m not sure how to handle a situation. I also loved watching the character progress throughout the seasons and to mature into an amazing woman. In the early episodes, Brooke was a mean girl that projected her personal pain on to others. It is not until the character gets older that you realize she was just a lost teenager that really does have a good heart. I loved watching Brooke find herself and ultimately become the kindest character on the show. I was not the only young girl to be influenced by B Davis, as writer Alexandria Luker tells about her love for the character in Play Buzz article, “Why Brooke Davis is a role model for young girls everywhere.”

“Brooke knew she was special and that she was one in a million,” Luker said. “She wasn’t afraid to stand up to for herself and stand her ground. She embraced who she was and was never apologetic, And through her self-confidence she always said want she needed to say and stood up for her loved ones.”

 When it came to smarts and confidence, Hermione Granger and Brooke Davis were my role models, but when it comes to mental toughness and independence another character comes into the mix. In 2011, when the first Avengers movie played in theaters, I was immediately drawn to Black Widow or Natasha Romanoff. Obviously for any young girl it is inspiring to see a female character being a talented fighter and holding her own. And then, this past year at the release of the Black Widow movie, I once again fell in love with the character. She was one of the first female roles of my childhood to display so much strength, independence and determination. She was not a damsel in distress, but she was also portrayed with realistic limitations as one of the only heroes without a special ability. Natasha also did not feel forced into the group to fulfill the female movie quota. She fit well into the dynamic and contributed so much to the success of the group. It was Natasha Romanoff’s character that inspired me to work towards that same independence and determination for myself. In the Entertainment article, “How Black Widow helped clear the way for more female superheroes,” written by Anthony Breznican, the author shares a quote from actress Scarlett Johansson about the impact of her character. 

“That is such a powerful journey to see anybody take, but certainly to see a woman on screen represented in that way: a flawed superhero with a gray moral compass coming to terms with what’s happened to her,” Johansson said. “It’s definitely shown some sort of path for these other female superheroes to be able to walk down. I certainly don’t take credit for that, though.”

As a young girl, having these inspiring female characters to look up to was everything. It taught me how to get through tough times and provided me with a safe place for when life was hard. I still love and relate to each of the characters named and see parts of their influence in my personality today. I would guess that most people have a few key characters from their childhood that were impressionable to them while growing up.