Thursday, March 11, 2010

Charles Ingalls The 'Odes' of March Series


The "odes" of March are for my favorite characters. I almost didn't post this one, but this is one of my first favorite characters ever. When I was a little girl, my family sat around the coffee table together and watched LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE as a family. I have lots of good memories about this show. And, of course, every girl of my generation read the books.

I know this particular character was based upon a real man, but we all know that there had to be a fictional element to LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRARIE, therefore, Charles Ingalls is one of my favorite characters.

Mr. Ingalls had some great traits like: Faith, being a great father, and a crazy hardworker.

However, his weaknesses were just as inspiring. Ingalls had a strong case of "wanderlust". (desire to wander, travel, explore the world) This fact is documented history. Pa also had a intermittent sense of macho -ism. He sometimes erred on the heavy side of standing up for his family and for what is right. One more "weakness" Charles Ingalls possessed was a workaholic nature. The man over worked himself from time to time.

As a girl, I always thought I'd grow up and marry a man like Charles Ingalls. Great father with deep Faith and love for his family. What a great example he would be to the gentlmen of this generation. Well, truthfully, he probably would not fit in anymore. Sadly, in life or in fiction.

But in this post I wanted to touch upon the fact that we readers like the weaknesses of characters sometimes just as well as their strengths.

What are some strengths and weaknesses that you value in your favorite characters? In your own writing or in what you've read?


Nisa said...

I love this post! I have a character with a serious case of the "wants". It's such a classic weakness I think. Most everyone can probably relate to it.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, Charles Ingalls. LOVED him bigtime! I never read any of the books, but the show was one of my favs.

Nice post. I like the twist about the weaknesses were just as inspiring too.

A weakness of one of my characters is her love of life. She's bold, brave, and funny....I am none of these, and I find them endearing (until she does them in excess, which leads to trouble!) I've always wanted to be more adventurous so when I see characters who are, I read them in awe. :-)

Lori Lundquist said...

Little House on the Prairie - a staple of my growing up . Read the books, watched the show (cried while watching the show, darn them), and even went on a vacation with my mom and dad (before the split) to historical Ingalls locations in MN, ND and I think there's a place in IN or IL? I agree with your observations whole-heartedly!
Since my mind is toast at the moment :-), I can't think of any characters that I appreciate weaknesses in, but I'm sure there are plenty. Sometimes the weaknesses can be my favorite part of a character b/c it reminds me that I have them too. :-)
Have a great week! Thanks for the post!

Chris said...

This post made me laugh. Charles Ingalls? I wouldn't have guessed...

My mom adores the show, and I sit and watch it with her sometimes. He'd have to be my favorite character if I were forced to choose.

Weaknesses can sometimes make a character. Over-curiosity is one I like. I mean, where would Nancy Drew and the Hardy boys be without it? haha

Lori said...

KM, I am in total agreement with you. Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls has always been my dream man.