Tag Archives: Love Story

Timeless Characters And Their Names In Books

I was wondering why some characters and their names in the books become so famous and why some of them are completely forgotten even though the book itself may be quite famous. In some cases the title of the book itself makes the name of the character very famous like Harry Potter or Eragon but in other cases it is the strength of the character that makes it famous like Howard Roark in Fountainhead. But there are other books where you will find it very difficult to remember the name of the character. As an example, I do not remember the name of main character in Five Point Someone or Love Story. I guess it has also to do with the narrative style of the story as well. If the story is written in first person the name is used less often making it less memorable.

Is it necessary for the name of the character to reflect the nature? I guess not. I wonder how J. K. Rowling decided on Harry or Hermione or Ron. She has given lot of thought while deciding names of spells but she seemed to have picked up really common names for her main characters. Even the Bella of Twilight is a very common name. On the other hand, some books come up with very uncommon names like Eragon. Something that you have never heard of. If the name is so common, do we still start relating that name with the type of character if that character becomes famous. Will we think of very intelligent and sharp girl if we meet some real life Hermione?

There is another aspect of naming that I have found very amusing. When books are translated from other languages to English, the native names are still taken in and then it becomes difficult to remember those names like it happened with me while reading War and Peace. I guess many non-Indians will find difficult to remember names if they were to read Mahabharata in English.

I guess the naming of characters is a complicated process in the minds of author and mostly they also do not realize how it can turn around depending upon the success of that book.

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“Love Story” by Erich Segal

I guess all college going students get introduced to this book in some way or the other. It is one of those timeless romantic classics that is enjoyed for the first time by kids who suddenly start taking interest in opposite sex. The story is very simple and is about a rich boy meeting a poor girl and falling in love and how in the end the girl dies due to illness leaving the guy alone.

For me the book was a classic example of dialog writing. Many times I have found that it is difficult to come up with conversation in a book. Movies are great for conversations. You don’t have to keep writing A says; B says; You don’t need to write expressions, you can leave sentences half-finished. The medium of movie allows that since you have a powerful dimension of visuals. But in the books, you need to describe everything and sometimes that can be a killer for impromptu conversation. Segal has overcome this limitation with wonderful conversational dialogs in this book. You really feel as though you are seeing that conversation happening between two characters and writer is not killing it by putting in extra words.

The book is of course very emotional. But it brings a smile to your face as well. The playfulness of Jennifer even during the hard times that they have touches your heart.

I had read this book when I had started going to college and later on read other books of Segal as well. I will probably write about them in separate pages. Recently, I also saw the movie, but I did not like the movie as much.

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