Books

Protaganists

I recently finished reading Eclipse (I know, I’m a little behind), and Bella tended to frustrate me in spots throughout the book.

But instead of blaming the book, I realized that this frustration was not isolated to this one series.

Let me start at the beginning.

Somewhere along the line, I think around my junior year in high school, I realized that I liked boy main characters better than girl main characters. They just seemed more appealing to me, and I didn’t really know why.

Oh sure, there were certain things, like the movie Mulan, for example, where the main character was a girl and she totally rocked. I wasn’t against heroines. I just preferred heroes.

I thought that one of the reasons for this is that I can fall in love (in a fictitious way) when the protagonist is a guy. That’s sad and pitiful, but I’m sure it’s happened to you at some point. But this is reason I like guys, not necessarily the reason I don’t like girls. And many of my favorite male characters have not been the main protagonist of a book.

So I needed a better reason.

When I was reading Wildwood Dancing, I literally threw the book on the floor twice because I was so frustrated with the main character. The female main character. (And by the way, it’s a wonderful, wonderful book, and I love it.)

Similar experience with A Curse as Dark as Gold, though not quite so violent.

When Bella frustrated me, I finally understood my preference in gender.

Girls frustrate me. They even infuriate me at sometimes. It isn’t the book’s fault, or the character’s fault; it’s just that I tend to emotionally relate much more closely to the a girl protagonist, so when she doesn’t do what I want her to do . . . argh! Frustration.

And the boy characters don’t have this problem. They go throw life a little less emotional and I can safely distance myself and enjoy a book.

There’s at least some of my reason for my preference.

In the girls’ defense, many of my favorite books have female protagonists. My frustration with the main character doesn’t mean the book isn’t worth reading, because when I’m involved in a book that much, it usually means it’s really, really good.

Just sometimes, girls get on my nerves.

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3 thoughts on “Protaganists

  1. I agree to this, to some degree. Mostly I just have a problem if the girl is letting herself get pushed around, if she doesn’t take control of the situation, but wallows, confused. And while I don’t always want a heroine that grabs up a sword and starts fighting left and right, I don’t want a complete wimp, either.

    I think sometimes it’s easier for an author to let a heroine drift through the story, being pulled here and pushed there by various events and people, but she doesn’t really do anything. It’s harder to have the girl allow her actions take control of the situation, for good or ill, and see where that leads, instead of vice versa.

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  2. That’s interesting, hwalk. I never really thought of that. Normally, I prefer girl protagonists just because I do relate to them more. And it feels weird to have a crush on the character from whose perspective you’re reading. 😉 I mean, normally, I like when I get frustrated with a character. Sometimes. I get frustrated with Bella a lot, and not in a good way, but I loved the character of Charlotte in A Curse Dark as Gold. I wanted to smack her, but that’s why I liked her. And even when I disagreed with her actions, I knew why she acted as she did.

    Anyway, great post. 😀

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