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gertrude

December 2017

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Can a character be both good and funny?

Simon poses this interesting question today and I’ve been racking my brains over it. The first character who came to mind was Mr Farebrother, from my current re-reading of Middlemarch. He’s a clergyman whose behaviour is not always exemplary; he plays whist and billiards for money, for instance. But he is good, supporting a family of women and sacrificing his own wishes over Mary Garth, whom he’s in love with. Yet he’s amusing, good company, ‘a good fellow’ liked by all. I think anyone would be glad to meet him in real life. I’d rather know him than ‘good’ Dorothea, who would always be making one feel inferior and is so earnest that she has no sense of humour. Any more suggestions?

Comments

There's lots of 'interesting' characters but I can't bring many to mind who I admire. However, I do like Atticus Finch and Elinor Dashwood's characters very much and Peter Rabbit's!
So often the interesting characters are not very admirable!

(Anonymous)

I can't remember her name but I always liked the vicar's wife in the Miss Marple short stories/Murder at the Vicarage and I think of the Provincial Lady as both good and funny too. Donnaxx