Note: if you don’t watch the television show Supernatural you may want to skip the first two paragraphs of this post. They contain spoilers for a season six episode.
A recent episode of Supernatural snatched the stars of the show, Sam and Dean, out of their demon-hunting world and into our own. Everything that Sam and Dean have experienced in their universe is part of a television show in our own.
They had such humorous reactions to landing in a world in which the supernatural doesn’t exist, the two of them are costars instead of brothers and they are pursued by fans and production assistants instead of by angry demons or monsters.
It made me wonder how other fictional characters would react if they were transplanted into our world?
The What If List
The first character to come to mind was Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables, et al.). She has such a whimsical, creative relationship with the idea of gentle otherworldly creatures like faeries or nymphs. How would she react to our television shows about vampires, werewolves and zombies?
Jo March (Little Women) always seemed more interested in writing than in finding a husband. Her marriage to Mr. Bhaer has always looked to me like something pushed onto Jo by the social conventions of the time instead of being a natural development of her character. I could see her jumping feet-first into journalism, blogging or even writing and publishing her own e-books if she walked into our world.
It would probably be too much to ask Frodo Baggins (The Lord of the Rings, et al.) to visit our noisy, congested cities but I wonder what he would think of our national forests and wildlife preserves?
If Pecola Breedlove (The Bluest Eye) lived in our time would she still so strongly associate being beautiful with being white? Would her sexual abuse have been discovered sooner? What would her adulthood have been like had she been given access to counselling appropriate for someone who has been severely abused?
Would contemporary small town life cause as much discord between Will Kennicott and Carol Milford? (Main Street). I could see them coming to a compromise by moving to the suburbs of or a small town very near to a big city so that Will could have a strong sense of community and Carol would feel less isolated from the outside world.
It would be a thrill to introduce Ayla (The Clan of the Cave Bear et al.) to modern medicine. There are so many diseases and injuries we easily treat now that are beyond the scope of her medicine bag. I don’t think she’d approve of the often massive disparities in life expectancy and overall health that exist among various cultures and countries, though.
The cause of Lennie Small‘s (Of Mice and Men) cognitive disability was never explained to the best of my recollection. If George Milton and the rest of the characters in his universe had our medical equipment and knowledge about developmental delays could Lennie have been taught how to avoid accidentally hurting other people?
How would the lives of your favourite fictional characters change if they were brought into our universe?
0 Responses to What if Characters Came to Life?
What an interesting thing to think about! I love your idea of Anne Shirley. She was one of my favorite characters when I was growing up.
I’ve been reading the Signs of the Zodiac series by Vicki Pettersson, so I began thinking about Joanna Archer. Joanna’s life has been endlessly complicated by agents of Light and Shadow fighting for a balance between good and evil. I think she would be relieved to be a part of the world where she could simply be human for a while. However, I think she’d eventually want to get back to her world and continue to fight to protect humans. By the way, the series is really good, and I recommend it to anyone looking for something new to read.
Since I recently read Last of the Mohicans, Hawkeye (Natty Bumpo), the wilderness scout also came to my mind. I think he’d be horrified by the current state of our environment. I could see him becoming a very active environmentalist.
Your question also made me think of another. If you could visit one of your favorite books for a while, which one would you visit?
I would visit Beauty by Robin McKinley. It was my favorite book when I was growing up, and no other book has taken its place in my heart. I feel like Beauty is an old friend and I’d love to visit her in her rose garden.
I’ll add that book to my list of stuff to check out. Lately it’s been growing faster than I can read!
I’ve been watching Star Trek: Voyager lately and am fascinated by their medical advances, replicators and the holodeck. (But mostly the holodeck. 😉 ) There are ST:V novels out there. I haven’t read any yet but I’d love to have the opportunity to step into that world and play around with their technology.
Star Trek: Voyager is a really good series. If you’ve never seen Star Trek: Next Generation, I recommend that too. I’ve never read any of the Star Trek books either, but I agree that the concepts of replicators and holodecks are extremely interesting.
I was thinking about watching that later on this year, actually. I saw a few random episodes from it as a kid and really enjoyed the storytelling. If you think it’s good I’ll definitely watch it (although I’m still watching Voyager so it will be a little while… 🙂 )
i read things a bit foggy in the morning and when i saw the title on my google reader feed i thought it said “What if Christians Came to Life” … 🙂