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  1. #31
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    I very rarely identify with a character, but when I do, it's scary how similar they seem to me.
    The most recent example that comes to mind is when I played through L.A. Noire. Cole Phelps is basically me. Maybe a bit more of my darker and less-logical side than I'd like, but seeing some of the flaws Phelps had actually led me to find those very same faults in myself. For example, he's always very self-assured and anxious to progress-- to a flaw, and he begins to believe the talk that he's a master detective, leading to a larger ego buildup. I'm the same way, I found out. And it was uncomfortable for me to come to terms with this, as I didn't particularly like some of his actions-- actions that I myself would have actually taken were I in his shoes.

    I think to truly identify and connect with a character fully, you'd have to at least learn something about yourself through them that you didn't know before.
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  2. #32
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    So you never identify with characters other than the protagonist, or with multiple characters? I almost never identify with the main protagonist; usually instead with a sidekick or antihero, or occasionally a villain. I understand the "staying in character" mindset, though I get it more after reading books. I can read for hours, and it is hard to come back to my own reality sometimes.
    I sometimes feel kind of drawn to less prominent characters... either because their backstory isn't fully explored or because I am, myself, a person who kind of avoids the spotlight. Either that, or they're just plain interesting.
    Tentative typing: ISFJ 6w5 or 9w1 (Sp/S[?]).

  3. #33
    Senior Member TenebrousReflection's Avatar
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    When I read a book, or watch television or cinema, I do tend to look for characters that have similaities to how I think and react, but such characters are extremely rare (the only example that comes to mind is Megan Reeves from Numb3rs and even that is only more similar than most).

    It is much more common to watch or read something and find characters that I feel something like "I respect or like the way this person thinks and/or acts" or being able to emphathize with villians that have been humanized by their writers. I think in many cases it is finding a character that values some of the same things as I do, but in some cases it is also feeling like its a character that I might be (or would like to be) like if I was more intelligent and/or more confident (the types of character I might play if I were still into pen and paper role playing). A few of these I think also represent my shadow functions.

    A list of some of my favorite characters is as follows
    Walter Bishop (Fringe)
    Nina Sharp (Fringe)
    Philip Broyles (Fringe)
    Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory)
    Rajesh Koothrappali (The Big Bang Theory)
    Amy Farrah Fowler (The Big Bang Theory)
    Gaius Baltar (Battlestar Galactica)
    Saul Tigh (Battlestar Galactica)
    Topher Brink (Doll House)
    Derrial Book (Firefly)
    Patrick Jayne (The Mentalist)
    Kimball Cho (The Mentalist)
    Tyrion Lanister (A Song of Ice and Fire)
    Varys (A Song of Ice and Fire)
    Peter Baelish (A Song of Ice and Fire)
    Davos Seaworth (A Song of Ice and Fire)

    The significance of finding a fictional character that I relate to (even a little) is that it makes it easier to get immersed into the experience. If there are no characters that I relate to at all, then its a lot more difficult for me to enjoy the reading/watching experience. The Inheritance book series by Christopher Paolini was recommended to me by someoen who I normally have a lot in common with, but when I read the first book, I found myself constantly yelling in my mind at the stupidity of the main character (complete lack of emotional intelligence and ignorance of human nature) and because of that found it difficult to make it through the book - so I think that in turn points to emotional inteligence/understanding of human nature being a key factor in how much or little I relate to a character.
    (keys2cognition) Fi (47.6), Ne (36.8), Fe (36.8), Si (31.6), Ti (29.7), Ni (27.4), Te (17.2) Se (12.5) - subject to change - last updated 11JAN2012
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  4. #34
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I connect with characters in movies and stories, although it doesn't mean I identify with them as "soul kin" per se -- i.e., the same kind of person as me. I can just usually find some aspect of each character (or more than one aspect) that I can connect with even if we're not really the same. If I didn't do this, I wouldn't feel anything about the story.

    I did really resonate with a few characters though. The two I remember off the top of my head are Cole Seer ("The Sixth Sense") and Ricky Fitts ("American Beauty"). Cole, because he was a child in age but had experiences/insights that aged him beyond his years, isolating him from his peers; and feeling trapped, alone, anxious, and unable to articulate his experiences in a way that brought him back into the circle of humanity. Ricky, because he was once again a loner with a vision that stretched beyond the boundaries, living with two parents who he would have liked to connect with but who he knew would never understand him; someone who was capable of seeing light in the dark and beauty amid the misery; and again, someone who had to face the world alone, with only his own insight and competence to rely on. The core of those characters matched up with the core of my own experiences and perceptions.

    Maybe (not as much, but still there) Charles Wallace Murray from "A Wrinkle in Time," too.

    Now that I'm writing this, it's kind of interesting... they're all young characters in age who are mentally and intuitively far older, who basically are then isolated from their peers, and are forced to rely on themselves for navigation through life... since there's usually no one in their lives who cares about them OR if the person cares, they're still unable to help and so they're on their own. The world is an achingly beautiful yet lonely place.

    Quote Originally Posted by ejcc
    I think it's like a platonic version of falling in love. You really get to know them -- you feel like you understand every facet of who they are. You start to care. And you can't care about characters you don't identify with.
    Interesting way to put it. (the bold)

    If it matters, despite the fact I identify with few characters in toto, it IS like falling in love and is the same kind of feeling I have in regards to SX connection and desire, except in the story all I have to do is read and I am ensured a window into the character's soul. The end of the story, of course, even if it's a happy ending, to me is like a death or a breakup of sorts... I feel a palpable loss and ache because I know there is no more to the revelation of that character to me.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #35
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenebrousReflection View Post
    The significance of finding a fictional character that I relate to (even a little) is that it makes it easier to get immersed into the experience. If there are no characters that I relate to at all, then its a lot more difficult for me to enjoy the reading/watching experience. The Inheritance book series by Christopher Paolini was recommended to me by someoen who I normally have a lot in common with, but when I read the first book, I found myself constantly yelling in my mind at the stupidity of the main character (complete lack of emotional intelligence and ignorance of human nature) and because of that found it difficult to make it through the book - so I think that in turn points to emotional inteligence/understanding of human nature being a key factor in how much or little I relate to a character.
    I am the same way. I enjoy books and movies much less when there are no characters I can really relate to. The second highlighted comment reminded me of my reaction when reading the Harry Potter books. I kept yelling in my mind at Harry for his questionable (to me) choices and inability to resist provocation. At least the series had other characters to whom I could more readily relate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    If it matters, despite the fact I identify with few characters in toto, it IS like falling in love and is the same kind of feeling I have in regards to SX connection and desire, except in the story all I have to do is read and I am ensured a window into the character's soul. The end of the story, of course, even if it's a happy ending, to me is like a death or a breakup of sorts... I feel a palpable loss and ache because I know there is no more to the revelation of that character to me.
    Same here. I often reread books, or portions of books, for this reason, but it is not the same. It is sad to see a good book or series end.

    To everyone:

    A few people have already commented in this vein, but what have you learned through characters that you relate to? Do you try to learn deliberately through the reading experience this way, or do you just pick up insights without really trying?
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  6. #36
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    I don't usually pick up a novel with that intention in mind, but whenever I see a character that I have a lot in common with, I inevitably see myself trying to learn from the mistakes they've made in the story, or in their backstory.

  7. #37
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    I tend to identify with fictional characters more than real people.
    ENFP: We put the Fi in Fire
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  8. #38
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    I tend to identify with fictional characters more than real people.
    That's a given.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  9. #39
    Whisky Old & Women Young Speed Gavroche's Avatar
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    Catwoman. When I saw Batman Return on TV at 7 or 8 years old, I identified so strongly with her... That was impressive and intense.
    EsTP 6w7 Sx/Sp

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  10. #40
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speed Gavroche View Post
    Catwoman. When I saw Batman Return on TV at 7 or 8 years old, I identified so strongly with her... That was impressive and intense.
    I picture you more like one of the guys from Fast and the Furious
    maybe it's the ISTP Sx/So
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    "You are a gay version of Gambit" Speed Gavroche
    "I wish that I could be affected by any hate, but I can't, cuz I just get affected by the bank" Chamillionaire

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