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Re: "good" characters in fiction

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  • mlcvamp@aol.com
    I think Madeleine L Engle is another author with an extraordinary talent for creating believable, three-dimensional good characters. Consider the Murry family
    Message 1 of 19 , Jan 14, 2006
      I think Madeleine L'Engle is another author with an extraordinary
      talent for creating believable, three-dimensional good characters.
      Consider the Murry family and the Austin family.

      Margaret Carter
    • Mike Foster
      I m late to this party, so perhaps Faramir, Huck Finn, and Graham Greene s whiskey priest from The Power & The Glory have already been introduced, as well as
      Message 2 of 19 , Jan 14, 2006
        I'm late to this party, so perhaps Faramir, Huck Finn, and Graham
        Greene's whiskey priest from The Power & The Glory have already been
        introduced, as well as some characters of Jane Austen and Jon Hassler.

        Mike Foster

        mlcvamp@... wrote:

        >I think Madeleine L'Engle is another author with an extraordinary
        >talent for creating believable, three-dimensional good characters.
        >Consider the Murry family and the Austin family.
        >
        >Margaret Carter
        >
        >
        >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • menelvagor1939
        Hi Margaret, I completely agree with you. I love the three books about the Murry family, the most striking being A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET. One of the reasons
        Message 3 of 19 , Jan 14, 2006
          Hi Margaret,

          I completely agree with you. I love the three books about the Murry
          family, the most striking being A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET. One of the
          reasons I enjoy books of this kind is expressed by Lewis in THS when
          Mark has come to his senses and wants "to be with nice people away
          from nasty people". It seems to me that fairy tales, in this respect
          as in many others, satisfy a deep longing of the human heart. Indeed,
          this distinction is maintained ( or used to maintained) in other forms
          of romantic fiction such as the dectective novel. One test is whether
          you want to take the book to bed with you. When choosing a bedtime
          story, I certainly don't want a book with horrid people as the
          "heroes" in it.

          But I was getting at something more in my reference to Lothlorien.
          Tolkien not only writes about good people, but makes goodness itself
          attractive. That is a very rare achievement.

          Ben




          In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, mlcvamp@a... wrote:
          >
          > I think Madeleine L'Engle is another author with an extraordinary
          > talent for creating believable, three-dimensional good characters.
          > Consider the Murry family and the Austin family.
          >
          > Margaret Carter
          >
        • menelvagor1939
          Hi Mike, I would certainly agree with you about Faramir. Indeed, one of the major blunders that Peter Jackson makes in his cinematic version of THE TWO TOWERS
          Message 4 of 19 , Jan 14, 2006
            Hi Mike,

            I would certainly agree with you about Faramir. Indeed, one of the
            major blunders that Peter Jackson makes in his cinematic version of
            THE TWO TOWERS is to turn Faramir into Boromir.

            I'm not sure which characters you're referring to in Huck Finn, but I
            would say that a comic novel rathers detracts from goodness in itself.

            I can't speak about Graham Greene since, whenever I tried him, I found
            him too gloomy for my taste. I don't know Jon Hassler, and am
            uncertain which characters of Jane Austen you favour. Could you
            elaborate?

            Ben


            In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
            >
            > I'm late to this party, so perhaps Faramir, Huck Finn, and Graham
            > Greene's whiskey priest from The Power & The Glory have already been
            > introduced, as well as some characters of Jane Austen and Jon Hassler.
            >
            > Mike Foster
            >
            > mlcvamp@a... wrote:
            >
            > >I think Madeleine L'Engle is another author with an extraordinary
            > >talent for creating believable, three-dimensional good characters.
            > >Consider the Murry family and the Austin family.
            > >
            > >Margaret Carter
            > >
            > >
            > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
            > >Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • WendellWag@aol.com
            In a message dated 1/14/2006 7:05:58 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, menelvagor1939@yahoo.com writes: three books about the Murry family Four books: _A Wrinkle in
            Message 5 of 19 , Jan 14, 2006
              In a message dated 1/14/2006 7:05:58 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
              menelvagor1939@... writes:

              three books about the Murry
              family


              Four books:

              _A Wrinkle in Time_
              _The Wind in the Door_
              _A Swiftly Tilting Planet_
              _Many Waters_

              Wendell Wagner


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Mike Foster
              Ben & Co. ... Aragorn is likewise good; the question is: believably so. ... Huck himself, of course. ... This book is not comic, unless you consider -Catch-22-
              Message 6 of 19 , Jan 14, 2006
                Ben & Co.

                menelvagor1939 wrote:

                >Hi Mike,
                >
                >I would certainly agree with you about Faramir. Indeed, one of the
                >major blunders that Peter Jackson makes in his cinematic version of
                >THE TWO TOWERS is to turn Faramir into Boromir.
                >
                Aragorn is likewise good; the question is: believably so.

                >
                >I'm not sure which characters you're referring to in Huck Finn,
                >
                Huck himself, of course.

                > but I
                >would say that a comic novel
                >
                This book is not comic, unless you consider -Catch-22- comic, too.
                Yossarian is -finally- good, but believably?

                >rathers detracts from goodness in itself.
                >
                >I can't speak about Graham Greene since, whenever I tried him, I found
                >him too gloomy for my taste.
                >
                Then try -Our Man In Havana- before you venture into the officially
                atheist Mexico of 70 years ago & the whiskey priest.

                > I don't know Jon Hassler,
                >
                Too many don't. -Simon's Night- to start. -North of Hope- his best.

                >and am
                >uncertain which characters of Jane Austen you favour.
                >
                Darcy for starters.

                > Could you
                >elaborate?
                >
                >Ben
                >
                >
                >In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
                >
                >
                >>I'm late to this party, so perhaps Faramir, Huck Finn, and Graham
                >>Greene's whiskey priest from The Power & The Glory have already been
                >>introduced, as well as some characters of Jane Austen and Jon Hassler.
                >>
                >>Mike Foster
                >>
                >>mlcvamp@a... wrote:
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >>>I think Madeleine L'Engle is another author with an extraordinary
                >>>talent for creating believable, three-dimensional good characters.
                >>>Consider the Murry family and the Austin family.
                >>>
                >>>Margaret Carter
                >>>
                >>>
                >>>The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                >>>Yahoo! Groups Links
                >>>
                >>>
                >>>
                >>>
                >>>
                >>>
                >>>
                >>>
                >>>
                >>>
                >>>
                >>>
                >>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                >Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
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                >
                >
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                >
                >
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Oberhelman, D
                Mike, nice to know there is another fan of the whiskey priest out there. I have always thought Faramir is a very subtle character as well. It is hard to
                Message 7 of 19 , Jan 14, 2006
                  Mike, nice to know there is another fan of the whiskey priest out there.

                  I have always thought Faramir is a very subtle character as well. It is hard to create a character who conveys that "air of Numenor" but is nonetheless a believable character whose goodness is not contrived but rather an innate part of who he is. Tolkien succeeds in this case, a point lost on the filmmakers who obviously felt the need to make him a "conflicted" character.

                  David


                  **************************************
                  David D. Oberhelman, Ph.D.
                  Associate Professor
                  Humanities-Social Sciences Division
                  Oklahoma State University Library
                  Stillwater, OK 74078
                  Phone: (405) 744-9773 Fax: (405) 744-7579
                  Email: d.oberhelman@...



                  ________________________________

                  From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Mike Foster
                  Sent: Sat 1/14/2006 2:45 PM
                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: "good" characters in fiction


                  I'm late to this party, so perhaps Faramir, Huck Finn, and Graham
                  Greene's whiskey priest from The Power & The Glory have already been
                  introduced, as well as some characters of Jane Austen and Jon Hassler.

                  Mike Foster

                  mlcvamp@... wrote:

                  >I think Madeleine L'Engle is another author with an extraordinary
                  >talent for creating believable, three-dimensional good characters.
                  >Consider the Murry family and the Austin family.
                  >
                  >Margaret Carter
                  >
                  >
                  >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                  >Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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                • Croft, Janet B.
                  Another author who does quite believable good people is our upcoming Mythcon guest of honor, Lois McMaster Bujold. I m not as familiar with her fantasy as I
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jan 17, 2006
                    Another author who does quite believable good people is our upcoming
                    Mythcon guest of honor, Lois McMaster Bujold. I'm not as familiar with
                    her fantasy as I am with her SF, but I would say Miles Vorkosigan, his
                    mother Cordelia Naismith, his father Aral Vorkosigan, even his
                    clone-brother Mark, after some extensive integration-into-society work,
                    are good people, along with many others in the Miles books. Not
                    unconflicted by any means! But good people, people who consider their
                    actions and take responsibility for them, people who grow, people I
                    would like to spend time with.


                    Janet
                  • Stolzi
                    George MacDonald is good at good characters. As a Victorian novelist, he had the temptation, to which he sometimes succumbed, to present simpering dolls, as
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jan 17, 2006
                      George MacDonald is good at good characters. As a Victorian novelist, he
                      had the temptation, to which he sometimes succumbed, to present "simpering
                      dolls," as Jack Lewis once called some of the heroines in certain Victorian
                      novels (not MacDonald's).

                      However, I'm right now scanning/proofreading ALEC FORBES OF HOWGLEN, one of
                      his last ones to make it into the electronic realm (or it will be there,
                      when we get finished), and enjoying the story at the same time. It's
                      particularly good because often George creates super-good characters who are
                      really there to present his own point of view, or who are there because (as
                      Lewis points out somewhere) George is really writing mythopoeic fiction
                      under the shadow of the "realistic" fiction form for which he could get
                      paid.

                      Not so in ALEC FORBES. The good characters are very varied in their
                      goodness, and they are all very human people who have their good qualities
                      and at the same time, their varied human weaknesses.

                      The plot, now - the plot stinks. But the characters and the surroundings (a
                      rural Scots village similar to the one where GMD grew up, and a university
                      town probably similar to where he studied) are intensely real.

                      Diamond Proudbrook
                    • Croft, Janet B.
                      Another author who does quite believable good people is our upcoming Mythcon guest of honor, Lois McMaster Bujold. I m not as familiar with her fantasy as I
                      Message 10 of 19 , Jan 17, 2006
                        Another author who does quite believable good people is our upcoming
                        Mythcon guest of honor, Lois McMaster Bujold. I'm not as familiar with
                        her fantasy as I am with her SF, but I would say Miles Vorkosigan, his
                        mother Cordelia Naismith, his father Aral Vorkosigan, even his
                        clone-brother Mark, after some extensive integration-into-society work,
                        are good people, along with many others in the Miles books. Not
                        unconflicted by any means! But good people, people who consider their
                        actions and take responsibility for them, people who grow, people I
                        would like to spend time with.


                        Janet
                        (I tried sending this earlier today and never got it myself, so excuse
                        please if it's a duplication)




                        The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo! Groups
                        Links
                      • John D. Rateliff
                        Good news for CSL/Inklings fans: the Kilby/Gilbert C.S. LEWIS: IMAGES OF HIS WORLD is back in print again. For those who haven t seen it, this is basically a
                        Message 11 of 19 , Jan 17, 2006
                          Good news for CSL/Inklings fans: the Kilby/Gilbert C.S. LEWIS: IMAGES OF HIS
                          WORLD is back in print again. For those who haven't seen it, this is
                          basically a coffeetable-size picture book with photographs of Lewis, people
                          who were important in his life, and scenery of places associated with him;
                          it also reproduces some of his drawings and manuscripts (e.g., Boxon
                          material). Aside from a brief note at the beginning, this looks at a quick
                          glance to be a straight reprint of the 1974 Eerdmans book. Aside from having
                          the best Inklings portrait gallery I know of, I've always found this book
                          poignant in that it contains what must be some of the last pictures of
                          Tolkien: the accompanying text refers to Warnie Lewis's death in April 1973
                          but describes Tolkien, who died the following September, in the present
                          tense. There are also pictures of Coghill, Dyson, Barfield, Gervase Mathew,
                          Hardie, Cecil, and Bennett as they appeared in old age, as well as George
                          Sayer, Paxford, Jocelyn Gibb, Maureen Blake, the Gresham brothers, the
                          Millers, Green, Fr. Hooper, Baynes, and Kilby himself. Well worth picking up
                          if you like to know what people and places you read about looked like.

                          --JDR
                        • Lezlie
                          Hi-- I am arriving late to this discussion -- I have the DVD and was just watching it with a friend (by happenstance) -- I don t see this Faramir turning into
                          Message 12 of 19 , Jan 20, 2006
                            Hi-- I am arriving late to this discussion -- I have the DVD and was
                            just watching it with a friend (by happenstance) -- I don't see this
                            "Faramir turning into Boromir" thing... other stuff is all wrong with
                            the film, but, I don't see that one...

                            He is a truly sterling character, though. Lezlie


                            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "menelvagor1939" <menelvagor1939@y...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > Hi Mike,
                            >
                            > I would certainly agree with you about Faramir. Indeed, one of the
                            > major blunders that Peter Jackson makes in his cinematic version of
                            > THE TWO TOWERS is to turn Faramir into Boromir.
                            >
                            > I'm not sure which characters you're referring to in Huck Finn, but I
                            > would say that a comic novel rathers detracts from goodness in itself.
                            >
                            > I can't speak about Graham Greene since, whenever I tried him, I found
                            > him too gloomy for my taste. I don't know Jon Hassler, and am
                            > uncertain which characters of Jane Austen you favour. Could you
                            > elaborate?
                            >
                            > Ben
                            >
                            >
                            > In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > I'm late to this party, so perhaps Faramir, Huck Finn, and Graham
                            > > Greene's whiskey priest from The Power & The Glory have already been
                            > > introduced, as well as some characters of Jane Austen and Jon Hassler.
                            > >
                            > > Mike Foster
                            > >
                            > > mlcvamp@a... wrote:
                            > >
                            > > >I think Madeleine L'Engle is another author with an extraordinary
                            > > >talent for creating believable, three-dimensional good characters.
                            > > >Consider the Murry family and the Austin family.
                            > > >
                            > > >Margaret Carter
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                            > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            > >
                            >
                          • Lezlie
                            Not to mention a host of other wonderful characters created by Bujold! I love the Wolf woman ...! (She *is* good, through and through.) McKillip is another
                            Message 13 of 19 , Jan 20, 2006
                              Not to mention a host of other wonderful characters created by Bujold!
                              I love the "Wolf" woman ...! (She *is* good, through and through.)
                              McKillip is another writer with good, believable, characters who area
                              also interesting and well rounded.
                              Also-- Faramir-- he is *good* and a Man of Numenor, indeed. However,
                              I have always read him as *also* being conficted. One of the three in
                              LoTR with the kind of depth in writing a more modern, less medieval
                              romance-inspried novelist would seek to create. Not too much, mind,
                              it's not JRRT's style. One the other hand, some of the most memorable
                              characters from the troubadour era are the most essentially good, but
                              humanly conflicted -- even flawed -- characters in literature.
                              Otherwise, it would be dull reading indeed. Certainly reading that
                              would not have survived for several hundred years.

                              In realy life, of course, it's very complicated, and novelists only
                              have a few thousand words to convey a human person in all of his or
                              her many facets. Lezlie

                              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@o...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Another author who does quite believable good people is our upcoming
                              > Mythcon guest of honor, Lois McMaster Bujold. I'm not as familiar with
                              > her fantasy as I am with her SF, but I would say Miles Vorkosigan, his
                              > mother Cordelia Naismith, his father Aral Vorkosigan, even his
                              > clone-brother Mark, after some extensive integration-into-society work,
                              > are good people, along with many others in the Miles books. Not
                              > unconflicted by any means! But good people, people who consider their
                              > actions and take responsibility for them, people who grow, people I
                              > would like to spend time with.
                              >
                              >
                              > Janet
                              >
                            • Croft, Janet B.
                              I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord
                              Message 14 of 19 , Jan 20, 2006
                                "I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas
                                Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon
                                of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory." (Book 4, chap. 5)

                                He's quite a bit more sterling in the book.


                                Janet


                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                Of Lezlie
                                Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 6:55 AM
                                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: [mythsoc] Re: "good" characters in fiction

                                Hi-- I am arriving late to this discussion -- I have the DVD and was
                                just watching it with a friend (by happenstance) -- I don't see this
                                "Faramir turning into Boromir" thing... other stuff is all wrong with
                                the film, but, I don't see that one...

                                He is a truly sterling character, though. Lezlie


                                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "menelvagor1939" <menelvagor1939@y...>
                                wrote:
                                >
                                > Hi Mike,
                                >
                                > I would certainly agree with you about Faramir. Indeed, one of the
                                > major blunders that Peter Jackson makes in his cinematic version of
                                > THE TWO TOWERS is to turn Faramir into Boromir.
                                >
                                > I'm not sure which characters you're referring to in Huck Finn, but I
                                > would say that a comic novel rathers detracts from goodness in itself.
                                >
                                > I can't speak about Graham Greene since, whenever I tried him, I found

                                > him too gloomy for my taste. I don't know Jon Hassler, and am
                                > uncertain which characters of Jane Austen you favour. Could you
                                > elaborate?
                                >
                                > Ben
                                >
                                >
                                > In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > I'm late to this party, so perhaps Faramir, Huck Finn, and Graham
                                > > Greene's whiskey priest from The Power & The Glory have already been

                                > > introduced, as well as some characters of Jane Austen and Jon
                                Hassler.
                                > >
                                > > Mike Foster
                                > >
                                > > mlcvamp@a... wrote:
                                > >
                                > > >I think Madeleine L'Engle is another author with an extraordinary
                                > > >talent for creating believable, three-dimensional good characters.
                                > > >Consider the Murry family and the Austin family.
                                > > >
                                > > >Margaret Carter
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo! Groups

                                > > >Links
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                > >
                                >









                                The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo! Groups
                                Links
                              • ccampboyle
                                ... Aragorn is likewise good; the question is: believably so. ... (De-lurking) I m coming rather late to this discussion, but I ve always been a big Aragorn
                                Message 15 of 19 , Jan 21, 2006
                                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Ben & Co.
                                  >
                                  > menelvagor1939 wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > >
                                  Aragorn is likewise good; the question is: believably so.
                                  >
                                  >

                                  (De-lurking) I'm coming rather late to this discussion, but I've
                                  always been a big Aragorn fan, so I had to say something. To me,
                                  Pippin's insight on this point is right on target. In seeing Faramir
                                  for the first time, he reflects "Here was one with an air of high
                                  nobility such as Aragorn at times revealed, less high perhaps, yet
                                  also less incalculable and remote..."

                                  I don't think Tolkien inadvertantly wrote Aragorn as a cardboard icon
                                  of goodness; I think he was rather deliberately "incalculable and
                                  remote." He is, after all, supposed to be more like Elendil and
                                  Elendur than anyone else in three millenia.

                                  I think Paul Kocher made the best response to the question of whether
                                  Aragorn is believable or not. I won't recapitulate his whole argument
                                  here, but I thought he was right on target when he referred to
                                  Aragorn's somewhat shirty responses to Butterbur and Pippin in Bree --
                                  "fat innkeeper who only remembers his own name because people shout
                                  at him all day" and "It would take more than a few days, or weeks, or
                                  years, of wandering in the Wild to make you look like Strider ... And
                                  you would die first, unless you are made of sterner stuff than you
                                  look to be." These are not the responses of someone who is a plaster
                                  saint.

                                  I've also always found Aragorn's uncertainty and second guessing
                                  regarding which way to go from Amon Hen as evidence of his humanity.
                                  He's someone doing the best he can, but not always sure he's right. We
                                  see the same kind of quality when, even after he is crowned, he's
                                  unsure about the future and looking for a sign, which Gandalf shows
                                  him in the sapling of the White Tree.

                                  Faramir remains one of my favorite characters, but I'm with Pippin in
                                  thinking he's less incalculable and remote than Aragorn. It's almost
                                  as if we can't really aspire to being Aragorn, but aspiring to be
                                  Faramir is an achievable goal. You know, Faramir -- the Aragorn for
                                  the rest of us.

                                  Cathy
                                • Lezlie
                                  Yes-- after being tested. I always liked Faramir-- because he has an interesting path in the book. I still don t see him as turning into Boromir -- who was
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Jan 23, 2006
                                    Yes-- after being tested. I always liked Faramir-- because he has an
                                    interesting path in the book. I still don't see him as "turning into
                                    Boromir" -- who was good, he was *tempted*, and gained redemption in
                                    the end. I think Jackson did a pretty good job -- if not perfect --
                                    with Boromir, because is a more familiar character to a modern film
                                    maker-- flawed, but essentially good. It's the characters that fall
                                    into a story-telling mode that modern filmmakers aren't as familiar
                                    with -- like Arwen, Eowyn and a couple others -- that didn't "work"
                                    for me. I'm actually glad (because of that) that Jackson didn't try
                                    for Tom Bombadil... he would have failed. The quintessential filmic
                                    LoTR has not yet been created-- it may never be.

                                    Everyone in the Books are tested, it's one of the basic themes, and
                                    what makes the Ring so dangerous -- I would argue that Isildur,
                                    himself, was essentially good, as well.

                                    And, recall that the Elves in Middle Earth are exiles, does this make
                                    Galadriel or Elrond less good? They have been on a long road to
                                    forgiveness, the Ring being part of their tasks along that road --
                                    self-appointed and otherwise. Their story is almost "LeGuinian"
                                    concerning the theme of fogiveness... (Although, it's probably
                                    historically more accuate to call Le Guin's work "Tolkienian"...)

                                    The Ring corrupts -- even good characters. To my eyes, this is what
                                    makes Tolkien so very interesting, the layers upon layers of a very
                                    complex web of *goodness*, of falling, redemption and forgiveness, and
                                    the beings -- elves, dwarves, wizards, hobbits, men & women -- who are
                                    caught up in an ancient conflict. Lezlie

                                    --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@o...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > "I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas
                                    > Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon
                                    > of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory." (Book 4, chap. 5)
                                    >
                                    > He's quite a bit more sterling in the book.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Janet
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > -----Original Message-----
                                    > From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                    > Of Lezlie
                                    > Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 6:55 AM
                                    > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Subject: [mythsoc] Re: "good" characters in fiction
                                    >
                                    > Hi-- I am arriving late to this discussion -- I have the DVD and was
                                    > just watching it with a friend (by happenstance) -- I don't see this
                                    > "Faramir turning into Boromir" thing... other stuff is all wrong with
                                    > the film, but, I don't see that one...
                                    >
                                    > He is a truly sterling character, though. Lezlie
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "menelvagor1939" <menelvagor1939@y...>
                                    > wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Hi Mike,
                                    > >
                                    > > I would certainly agree with you about Faramir. Indeed, one of the
                                    > > major blunders that Peter Jackson makes in his cinematic version of
                                    > > THE TWO TOWERS is to turn Faramir into Boromir.
                                    > >
                                    > > I'm not sure which characters you're referring to in Huck Finn, but I
                                    > > would say that a comic novel rathers detracts from goodness in itself.
                                    > >
                                    > > I can't speak about Graham Greene since, whenever I tried him, I found
                                    >
                                    > > him too gloomy for my taste. I don't know Jon Hassler, and am
                                    > > uncertain which characters of Jane Austen you favour. Could you
                                    > > elaborate?
                                    > >
                                    > > Ben
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
                                    > > >
                                    > > > I'm late to this party, so perhaps Faramir, Huck Finn, and Graham
                                    > > > Greene's whiskey priest from The Power & The Glory have already been
                                    >
                                    > > > introduced, as well as some characters of Jane Austen and Jon
                                    > Hassler.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Mike Foster
                                    > > >
                                    > > > mlcvamp@a... wrote:
                                    > > >
                                    > > > >I think Madeleine L'Engle is another author with an extraordinary
                                    > > > >talent for creating believable, three-dimensional good characters.
                                    > > > >Consider the Murry family and the Austin family.
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > >Margaret Carter
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo! Groups
                                    >
                                    > > > >Links
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    > > >
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo! Groups
                                    > Links
                                    >
                                  • Croft, Janet B.
                                    Well, the thing is, T-Faramir (Tolkien-Faramir) says this BEFORE being tested -- before he even knows for sure what Frodo carries or what his quest is. And
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Jan 23, 2006
                                      Well, the thing is, T-Faramir (Tolkien-Faramir) says this BEFORE being
                                      tested -- before he even knows for sure what Frodo carries or what his
                                      quest is. And then he stands by what he says -- that is his test. I
                                      admit I do not have the films memorized, but it seems to me that
                                      J-Faramir tried to take the Ring from Frodo in an attempt to curry favor
                                      with his father -- not an act T-Faramir would ever contemplate, and not
                                      a sterling motivation either.


                                      Janet


                                      -----Original Message-----
                                      From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                      Of Lezlie
                                      Sent: Monday, January 23, 2006 11:46 AM
                                      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: [mythsoc] Re: "good" characters in fiction

                                      Yes-- after being tested. I always liked Faramir-- because he has an
                                      interesting path in the book. I still don't see him as "turning into
                                      Boromir" -- who was good, he was *tempted*, and gained redemption in the
                                      end. I think Jackson did a pretty good job -- if not perfect -- with
                                      Boromir, because is a more familiar character to a modern film
                                      maker-- flawed, but essentially good. <snip>.

                                      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@o...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > "I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas

                                      > Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the
                                      > weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory." (Book 4, chap. 5)
                                      >
                                      > He's quite a bit more sterling in the book.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Janet
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > -----Original Message-----
                                      > From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On
                                      > Behalf Of Lezlie
                                      > Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 6:55 AM
                                      > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Subject: [mythsoc] Re: "good" characters in fiction
                                      >
                                      > Hi-- I am arriving late to this discussion -- I have the DVD and was
                                      > just watching it with a friend (by happenstance) -- I don't see this
                                      > "Faramir turning into Boromir" thing... other stuff is all wrong with
                                      > the film, but, I don't see that one...
                                      >
                                      > He is a truly sterling character, though. Lezlie
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "menelvagor1939" <menelvagor1939@y...>
                                      > wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > Hi Mike,
                                      > >
                                      > > I would certainly agree with you about Faramir. Indeed, one of the
                                      > > major blunders that Peter Jackson makes in his cinematic version of
                                      > > THE TWO TOWERS is to turn Faramir into Boromir.
                                      > >
                                      > > I'm not sure which characters you're referring to in Huck Finn, but
                                      > > I would say that a comic novel rathers detracts from goodness in
                                      itself.
                                      > >
                                      > > I can't speak about Graham Greene since, whenever I tried him, I
                                      > > found
                                      >
                                      > > him too gloomy for my taste. I don't know Jon Hassler, and am
                                      > > uncertain which characters of Jane Austen you favour. Could you
                                      > > elaborate?
                                      > >
                                      > > Ben
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
                                      > > >
                                      > > > I'm late to this party, so perhaps Faramir, Huck Finn, and Graham
                                      > > > Greene's whiskey priest from The Power & The Glory have already
                                      > > > been
                                      >
                                      > > > introduced, as well as some characters of Jane Austen and Jon
                                      > Hassler.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Mike Foster
                                      > > >
                                      > > > mlcvamp@a... wrote:
                                      > > >
                                      > > > >I think Madeleine L'Engle is another author with an extraordinary

                                      > > > >talent for creating believable, three-dimensional good
                                      characters.
                                      > > > >Consider the Murry family and the Austin family.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >Margaret Carter
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo!
                                      > > > >Groups
                                      >
                                      > > > >Links
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      > > >
                                      > >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo! Groups
                                      > Links
                                      >









                                      The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo! Groups
                                      Links
                                    • Oberhelman, D
                                      Yup, J-Faramir wants to please Denethor who already knew about the Ring and had instructed Boromir to bring it back with him to Minas Tirith. That change opens
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Jan 23, 2006
                                        Yup, J-Faramir wants to please Denethor who already knew about the Ring
                                        and had instructed Boromir to bring it back with him to Minas Tirith.
                                        That change opens up so many cans of worms my head simply reels!





                                        I am betraying my Victorian novel roots (my area before I went into
                                        academic library work which I do now), but George Eliot has some
                                        interesting "good" characters, though whether they are "believable" is
                                        somewhat debatable (Dorothea in Middlemarch or Dinah in Adam Bede do
                                        sound like mouthpieces for Eliot's moral philosophy).



                                        David







                                        ________________________________

                                        From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                        Of Croft, Janet B.
                                        Sent: Monday, January 23, 2006 1:22 PM
                                        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Re: "good" characters in fiction



                                        Well, the thing is, T-Faramir (Tolkien-Faramir) says this BEFORE being
                                        tested -- before he even knows for sure what Frodo carries or what his
                                        quest is. And then he stands by what he says -- that is his test. I
                                        admit I do not have the films memorized, but it seems to me that
                                        J-Faramir tried to take the Ring from Frodo in an attempt to curry favor
                                        with his father -- not an act T-Faramir would ever contemplate, and not
                                        a sterling motivation either.


                                        Janet


                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                        Of Lezlie
                                        Sent: Monday, January 23, 2006 11:46 AM
                                        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: [mythsoc] Re: "good" characters in fiction

                                        Yes-- after being tested. I always liked Faramir-- because he has an
                                        interesting path in the book. I still don't see him as "turning into
                                        Boromir" -- who was good, he was *tempted*, and gained redemption in the
                                        end. I think Jackson did a pretty good job -- if not perfect -- with
                                        Boromir, because is a more familiar character to a modern film
                                        maker-- flawed, but essentially good. <snip>.

                                        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@o...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > "I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas

                                        > Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the
                                        > weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory." (Book 4, chap. 5)
                                        >
                                        > He's quite a bit more sterling in the book.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Janet
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > -----Original Message-----
                                        > From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On
                                        > Behalf Of Lezlie
                                        > Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 6:55 AM
                                        > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                        > Subject: [mythsoc] Re: "good" characters in fiction
                                        >
                                        > Hi-- I am arriving late to this discussion -- I have the DVD and was
                                        > just watching it with a friend (by happenstance) -- I don't see this
                                        > "Faramir turning into Boromir" thing... other stuff is all wrong with
                                        > the film, but, I don't see that one...
                                        >
                                        > He is a truly sterling character, though. Lezlie
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "menelvagor1939" <menelvagor1939@y...>
                                        > wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > Hi Mike,
                                        > >
                                        > > I would certainly agree with you about Faramir. Indeed, one of the
                                        > > major blunders that Peter Jackson makes in his cinematic version of
                                        > > THE TWO TOWERS is to turn Faramir into Boromir.
                                        > >
                                        > > I'm not sure which characters you're referring to in Huck Finn, but
                                        > > I would say that a comic novel rathers detracts from goodness in
                                        itself.
                                        > >
                                        > > I can't speak about Graham Greene since, whenever I tried him, I
                                        > > found
                                        >
                                        > > him too gloomy for my taste. I don't know Jon Hassler, and am
                                        > > uncertain which characters of Jane Austen you favour. Could you
                                        > > elaborate?
                                        > >
                                        > > Ben
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
                                        > > >
                                        > > > I'm late to this party, so perhaps Faramir, Huck Finn, and Graham
                                        > > > Greene's whiskey priest from The Power & The Glory have already
                                        > > > been
                                        >
                                        > > > introduced, as well as some characters of Jane Austen and Jon
                                        > Hassler.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Mike Foster
                                        > > >
                                        > > > mlcvamp@a... wrote:
                                        > > >
                                        > > > >I think Madeleine L'Engle is another author with an extraordinary

                                        > > > >talent for creating believable, three-dimensional good
                                        characters.
                                        > > > >Consider the Murry family and the Austin family.
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >Margaret Carter
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo!
                                        > > > >Groups
                                        >
                                        > > > >Links
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        > > >
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo! Groups
                                        > Links
                                        >









                                        The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo! Groups
                                        Links







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                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Lezlie
                                        I don t think he does-- no -- in fact he doesn t. Not in the books or the films. He attempts to follow his father s orders and send any intruders to Minas
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Jan 24, 2006
                                          I don't think he does-- no -- in fact he doesn't. Not in the books or
                                          the films. He attempts to follow his father's orders and send any
                                          intruders to Minas Tirith (which is explained in the film and in the
                                          book)-- then, after Sam blurts out about the Ring, he spends some time
                                          thinking, and finally, disobeys orders and sends the pair onward --
                                          with a heavy heart, believing their cause to be lost. It isn't instant
                                          in either thing, the book or the film -- it makes the following
                                          battles & the confrontation with Denethor even more interesting, IMHO.

                                          Later, Faramir tries to hold the river and and succumbs to the Black
                                          Breath. His healing, heart and body, walking with Eowyn in the House
                                          of Healing, make for interesting depth the last chapters of book 3. In
                                          the DVD version of the film, this part (much missed in the theatrical
                                          version)has been (somewhat) returned, but lacks the "troubadour"
                                          quality of the original (modern filmmakers just *do not get* this idea).

                                          Boromir was deeply tempted -- and conflicted- and he acted badly -- he
                                          also regretted his action, defended the Hobbits and lost his life. He
                                          gained redemption and saw the evil nature of the Ring in his last
                                          actions -- very much echoing some of the themes in his earlier tales
                                          in the "Silmarillion" (I'm thinking especially of Turin...), IMHO. I
                                          never interpreted Boromir's actions as being motivated by a desire "to
                                          curry favor" with Denethor, but actions born of absolute loyalty by a
                                          man "of action" who believed in what we would label a "military
                                          solution" today. I tend to think Tolkien was showing why that was the
                                          wrong answer-- and another effect of the Ring's ability to corrupt
                                          "good hearted men".

                                          I thought the film brought that out-- it's in the books, but half the
                                          people who've read it that I've talked to -- well -- it went right
                                          past them. The two brothers are alike, and different in their basic
                                          natures -- both their father's sons in interesting ways. the fact that
                                          they are brothers is also very interesting -- insights into Tolkien's
                                          themes and ideas abound in this little triangular relationship of
                                          Denethor, Faramir & Boromir-- about kinship, kingship, loyalty and
                                          lost Numenor -- I think the film (at least the DVD) did OK (not the
                                          Numenor part, though) with that, not nearly half as well as the books,
                                          but OK. I The films simply are not -- although Jackson's love for the
                                          material does show -- as deep or as well crafted as Tolkien books, you
                                          have no argument from me there. Neither Jackson nor the screenwriters
                                          are the master story-maker that Tolkien was. (And, never will be.)
                                          Lezlie



                                          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@o...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Well, the thing is, T-Faramir (Tolkien-Faramir) says this BEFORE being
                                          > tested -- before he even knows for sure what Frodo carries or what his
                                          > quest is. And then he stands by what he says -- that is his test. I
                                          > admit I do not have the films memorized, but it seems to me that
                                          > J-Faramir tried to take the Ring from Frodo in an attempt to curry favor
                                          > with his father -- not an act T-Faramir would ever contemplate, and not
                                          > a sterling motivation either.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Janet
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > -----Original Message-----
                                          > From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                          > Of Lezlie
                                          > Sent: Monday, January 23, 2006 11:46 AM
                                          > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                          > Subject: [mythsoc] Re: "good" characters in fiction
                                          >
                                          > Yes-- after being tested. I always liked Faramir-- because he has an
                                          > interesting path in the book. I still don't see him as "turning into
                                          > Boromir" -- who was good, he was *tempted*, and gained redemption in the
                                          > end. I think Jackson did a pretty good job -- if not perfect -- with
                                          > Boromir, because is a more familiar character to a modern film
                                          > maker-- flawed, but essentially good. <snip>.
                                          >
                                          > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@o...> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > "I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas
                                          >
                                          > > Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the
                                          > > weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory." (Book 4, chap. 5)
                                          > >
                                          > > He's quite a bit more sterling in the book.
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > Janet
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > -----Original Message-----
                                          > > From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On
                                          > > Behalf Of Lezlie
                                          > > Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 6:55 AM
                                          > > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                          > > Subject: [mythsoc] Re: "good" characters in fiction
                                          > >
                                          > > Hi-- I am arriving late to this discussion -- I have the DVD and was
                                          > > just watching it with a friend (by happenstance) -- I don't see this
                                          > > "Faramir turning into Boromir" thing... other stuff is all wrong with
                                          > > the film, but, I don't see that one...
                                          > >
                                          > > He is a truly sterling character, though. Lezlie
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "menelvagor1939" <menelvagor1939@y...>
                                          > > wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Hi Mike,
                                          > > >
                                          > > > I would certainly agree with you about Faramir. Indeed, one of the
                                          > > > major blunders that Peter Jackson makes in his cinematic version of
                                          > > > THE TWO TOWERS is to turn Faramir into Boromir.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > I'm not sure which characters you're referring to in Huck Finn, but
                                          > > > I would say that a comic novel rathers detracts from goodness in
                                          > itself.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > I can't speak about Graham Greene since, whenever I tried him, I
                                          > > > found
                                          > >
                                          > > > him too gloomy for my taste. I don't know Jon Hassler, and am
                                          > > > uncertain which characters of Jane Austen you favour. Could you
                                          > > > elaborate?
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Ben
                                          > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > > > In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > I'm late to this party, so perhaps Faramir, Huck Finn, and Graham
                                          > > > > Greene's whiskey priest from The Power & The Glory have already
                                          > > > > been
                                          > >
                                          > > > > introduced, as well as some characters of Jane Austen and Jon
                                          > > Hassler.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Mike Foster
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > mlcvamp@a... wrote:
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > >I think Madeleine L'Engle is another author with an extraordinary
                                          >
                                          > > > > >talent for creating believable, three-dimensional good
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                                          > > > > >Consider the Murry family and the Austin family.
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                                          > > > > >Margaret Carter
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                                          > > > > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo!
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                                          > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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                                          > > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo! Groups
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                                          > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo! Groups
                                          > Links
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