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?