Columns > Published on May 16th, 2014

Five Characters Who Could Really Use A Hug

Image by Kristina Alexanderson

Let’s be real: the best stories do not end well. The lovers don’t end up together. The bad guy wins. There are harsh words. Blood. Death. Destruction! Fire! Sorry.

As a reader, I have come across characters that are so blinded by their loneliness, anger, or desperation that they make the wrong choices again and again. It becomes overwhelming to witness them stuck in the same cycle page after page. I just want to reach into their narratives, embrace them, and let them know everything will be okay. A lot of the time, a problem can be solved with just that, a physical and emotional assurance that someone understands your unfortunate state of affairs.

The following characters, more than anyone, could really use a hug.

5. Jane, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'

EeyoreIn order to deal with her supposed nervous depression, Jane’s husband chooses to isolate her completely, considering this the "practical" solution. Hey, John, how about instead of trapping your wife in the confines of a weird room, you give her a tight, sincere squeeze and actually listen to what she’s saying? I also really want to hug her so she'll stop using the word 'creep.'

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4. Eeyore, 'Winnie the Pooh'

Eeyore is a character that thanks others for merely noticing him. Respect yourself, Eeyore! You are worthy!

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3. The Tree, 'The Giving Tree'

The act of giving can be the best feeling in the world. I am never happier than when I surprise someone I care for deeply with a gift, tangible or not. However, after giving and giving and giving and receiving absolutely nothing in return, anyone would become exhausted. I’ve got a real problem with the boy in The Giving Tree using the crap out of the tree, but never giving anything back. He climbs, swings, and eats the tree’s apples, but how about a hug? After one quick, childhood embrace, the boy never shows the tree affection again. As an old man, he even goes so far as to sit on the poor tree’s stump. Clearly, I have a lot of feelings about The Giving Tree.

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2. Raskolnikov, 'Crime and Punishment'

Okay, so maybe Raskolnikov brought his despair upon himself. If he’d let his friend help him out a bit, he might not have gone off and murdered a couple of women and had to deal with a guilty conscience the size of James’s giant peach. Someone really should have forced his or her hug energy on him before he decided to commit such a severe act, but alas.

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1. Rogue, 'X-Men'

Before she learned to control her mutation, Rogue couldn’t touch anyone without some serious consequences. I mean, the first boy she kissed was left in a permanent coma! Yikes. When you can’t have something it becomes more desirable than ever, so Rogue takes the number one spot for characters that could use a good, free-of-power-absorption hug.

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Which characters would you like to reach out and hug?

About the author

Christine J. Schmidt is a writer originally from New Jersey. After receiving her BFA in Dramatic Writing from SUNY Purchase, she worked at Seattle Repertory Theatre as their artistic literary intern. She recently left Brooklyn, where she was a bookseller and events host at WORD, to reside in Los Angeles. She has previously written for New York Theatre Review, and her plays have been read and produced at theaters in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Washington. Coffee is her favorite thing.

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