I am thankful for Shirin and Starr and Kya because the opened my eyes, helped me be a better person. I Heart Characters 11/15

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer to showcase our book blogger lover for characters! Each week she’ll supply a topic and you’ll supply the character. Post on whatever day suits you, about characters from whatever media you love (books, movies, K-dramas, television, manga, anime, webtoons, whatever!) and link up on Thursday so YOU and others can blog hop and share the character love.

Today’s topic is A Character I’m Thankful for, because ______ (Did you relate hard? Did they help out a favorite MC? Whatever you’re reason, we want to know about this character!) 

Well today I have three characters I am thankful for all for the same reason: they opened my eyes. They forced me to look deep into my heart and soul and wonder if I was not prejudiced. The picture is not always pretty when you look at your preconceived ideas about either race, social status, sexual preferences etc. But that’s what I love in books: they make me grow.

They influence my behavior.

I will always be convinced that you can raise your kids thanks to books. If you make them read stories filled with noble and selfless characters the chances are great that they will “imprint” something and be worthy adults later.

Books have the same influence on adults, that I am convinced of.

The three character I will mention here below each helped me to move past some prejudice. They helped me go above the “flock of sheeps” and think, really think about that topic. Not believe what I am fed on the news but think by myself.

Walking in their shoes, seeing the world through their eyes was a revelation that I will forever be thankful for.

So without further ado let me introduce these fantastic girls!

 

Starr from The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This are some my thoughts after having read the book:

What I really praise the author for was to make ME see, me white woman, the reality of many minorities.” I was also pondering what real courage was, how I would have reacted… This is also about courage and finding your voice.

What would I do being in her shoes? Would I be brave and honor my friend’s memory asking justice? Risking my life and my family’s security? Would I stay silent to protect those I love? But then how would I live with a guilty conscience?

“That’s why people are speaking out, huh? Because it won’t change if we don’t say something?” “Exactly. We can’t be silent.”

The roots of the problem are fear. “White” people have preconceived ideas about poor black people (and that could be any minority really) that make them perceive these people as threat. Once the fear is present accidents happen or even deliberate shootings.

When you have desperate poor people kept in poverty as they only are offered menial and underpaid jobs these people get angry. It does not ask for much to ignite a spark and have the powder keg explode.”

As you can see this broached very contemporary topics and had me see them through another light.

 

Kya from Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

When I read this tale of rejection I was broken and angry. Angry at all these villagers shunning this little poor girl.  How could people be so mean to a kid?

Then … I thought once again of my own reaction when I cross some beggar kids on the street. I think they are dirty and used by their parents to draw sympathy. Am I better than these villagers really? It is not a glorious day when you are forced to face your flaws in in all honesty admit that maybe you are a little like them. Would I shun a kid, leave him or her all alone to fend for herself in the wild? I dare to hope that no I wouldn’t be that person. Yet that does not make me a saint when I think about my own reaction to these poor kids. And so is one of the reasons why I love: to better myself, to open my eyes.

 

My last character of the day is Shirin from A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

My post title was: “This! This is why I read! A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi. How to shatter all prejudices.” as you can see the tone was set 😀

I wrote:

A Very Large Expanse of Sea is why I read.

Thank you Tahereh Mafi for helping me to keep my eyes open.
Thank you for helping me get less prejudiced.

I finished A Very Large Expanse of Sea in one day. I devoured this book like my life depended on it.
From the very first sentences I was horrified by what Shirin had to endure every day. Just for her choice to wear a scarf around the head.
How many violences were imparted on her.
Because of the heinous actions of some she was assimilated to terrorists and treated like one.

And then I thought:” how many times haven’t you be slightly frigthened by someone looking muslim and looking menacing to you? How many times have you been suspicious because they were different and terrorists had taken a stand, drawn a line?”
And each time I felt guilty because my frightened mind kept associating stranger with danger. Yet I knew this was false and wrong.
How many times did I think “Don’t let them win. Don’t let them create a cleavage. Don’t let them manipulate you and turn you into someone you are not: a hater.”

Reading Shirin’s struggle was both heartbreaking, humbling and enlightening.

This book is an open scream to the world.

A plea not to make amalgams.

A shout to never judge people without getting to know them first.

An ode to equal and fair treatment.

 

So yes I am thankful for these characters!

And you who would you be thankful for?

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

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16 Replies to “I am thankful for Shirin and Starr and Kya because the opened my eyes, helped me be a better person. I Heart Characters 11/15”

  1. Great choices! it’s always great to find characters who help you understand the world better, who challenge you and force you to look at how you think about certain things, how you react… and hopefully aid you in becoming a better version of yourself. I haven’t read these books yet, though Mafi’s and THUG already were on my TBR!

  2. Where the crawdads sing sounds like a really powerful story! And I’m so keen to read a very large expanse of sea. Great post!

  3. Great choices, especially Starr from THUG!

  4. Great Post, Sophie! I haven’t read any of these books, but I’m hoping to read THUG, and a very large Expanse Of Sea in next year.

  5. We all are inspired by certain characters and books, who move and touch us in ways that make us think and, sometimes, live differently. That’s the power of not just a good author, but a great one. The more we learn, and the more we learn about ourselves, the better, and if books and characters help, then all the more we should shout out and let everyone know.

    Keep shouting, we’re listening!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha Alexandra I will keep shouting I promise! 😉

  6. Aww, I love this post Sophie! Perfect timing since THANKSGIVING is just around the corner (for this Texan anyway, LOL!)

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha thank you Trisy!!! And happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Wow, what a wonderful post Sophie !!

    I especially love the “I will always be convinced that you can raise your kids thanks to books.(..) Books have the same influence on adults, that I am convinced of.”

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Kristina!!!

  8. Well said, Sophie! Books that make me take a good honest look at myself are sure fire winners.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Laura!!!

  9. WOW! Sophie this is so raw and real and relatable. I feel like even with all the knowledge we have at our fingertips there is still so much to learn and to understand. We think we know because of the internet but really we don’t always. ❤️ Thanks so much for sharing the books that broke your heart and made you see differently!!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you for your praise and kind words Dani!!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Julianna!!!

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