A Short Conversation With Two Characters

160781[1]images[10]Daily Prompt: It Builds Character

Tell us about a favorite character from film, theater, or literature, with whom you’d like to have a heart-to-heart. What would you talk about?

To play along with the Daily Prompt there are two characters who have always fascinated me; Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird and Andy Dufresne from Shawshank Redemption.

They are characters who want little from life other than justice and to be left alone. They are characters of principle. That’s the kind of people one wants to have conversations and friendships with.

I’d like to go fishing with those two guys. At the end of the day in a cabin with a small fire we’d talk about the day.

“How many did you catch today?” I said.

“A few jumped in my basket,” Atticus said. “But I set them free. They committed no particular crime other than being hungry fish. As a lawyer entrapment by the government gets me clients, but as a citizen it makes me angry. The government shouldn‘t set people up to fail.”

“What about you, Andy?” I said.

“I sat on the shore and watched Atticus set them free,” Andy said. “And thought about how good it is to be free. Have you ever just stopped and tried to hear the sound of a single thing? Like picking out one violin in an entire orchestra. You can do it if you really try. And when you do, you recognize you are a part of something much grander than just yourself. You‘re just part of an orchestra. Just play your part and let the maestro take his bow.”

“That’s all very poetic,” Atticus said, “But it still doesn’t put any fish on the table for supper.”

“Let’s eat out tonight,” I said.

“Why not get it and just bring in back here?” Andy said.


That’s an interesting prompt. I don’t get into the characters that much, because I know they are characters. They are a figment, thus they have not real characters. It is almost alarming, at least to me, to have a conversation with a character.

When I write, characters are not treated as real people. They don’t take over the story. They make decisions and say things that I want them to do and say. I’m the one in charge. I’m a writer not a reporter.

Often I hear writers use that expression or ones similar. “The character just took over.” That’s borderline insanity or buffoonery. Whose in charge? I think they say that to cast the entire story as being unbridled and thus more creative.

If the writer is sane he admits the characters are actually from his own thinking process.

There are few movies I watch. Often movies have characters who are larger than life or the center of the universe. How can one possible carry on a conversation with such a person. I don’t like people like that. They are arrogant. Who really likes to be around arrogance or be such?



Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

28 responses to “A Short Conversation With Two Characters

  1. CB

    Oh yes, Atticus Finch. Gregory Peck did a fabulous job with that character.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. Actually I never think of Peck doing that role. It seemed more of a James Stewart type of role. In modern day Tom Hanks could do it justice (pun intended).

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  4. Atticus has got to be one of the best ones I’ve read. 😉 Never forgot him since.

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  11. I sure get what you’re saying in that last paragraph. You could add narcissism to arrogance. It would be a totally one-sided conversation all about them. You’d never get a word in and if you did it better not be about you. 😉

  12. What a cool Idea. I’d like to know how Andy and Red turned out. You’d be be writer that could tell it.

  13. Shawshank has always been one of my favorite movies – it intrigues me beyond anything else. Andy was brilliant!

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  16. Great post, I’m not familiar with the Shawshank character, but you nailed Atticus Finch.

  17. Borderline insanity or buffoonery — don’t hold back, Kenton.

  18. wow! it seems we have a favourite in Mocking bird. I think Harper Lee did an excellent job. Just hold your head high and be a gentleman he would say.

  19. Both, great picks! I can watch Shawshank Redemption any time for the interesting character played by Tim.Kill a Mocking Bird is serious, however, I liked the movie and the character played by Gregory.

Blather away, if you like.

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