H. M. L. Swann
#3 RELATIONSHIPS: Friends
They are the people we gravitate towards. The people we can talk to about anything: the good, the bad, the ugly. A true friend is essential to our well-being.
But true friends aren't always easy to find, are they? Friendships, like all relationships, take work and time. I adore this song by Charlie Parr, a musician from my hometown area. He has the perfect song that speaks to this.
A friend that is there for you to listen without judgement is such a beautiful thing.
That's why a good friendship in a book transforms the story into something special.
So here are my TOP 5 friendships in literature.
5. Ralph and Piggy - Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies is one of those novels that blew me away with its ending. The boys have given into their animalistic tendencies when soldiers finally come to save them. This is when the reader realizes that the men are doing things just as awful, nay worse, than the little boys are. The questions this novel raises about humanity being inherently good or evil is brilliant. While the boys are stranded on an island, the friendship between Ralph and Piggy give us some sense of hope amongst the awful nature of humans. Piggy is faulted yet smart and is always willing to help Ralph.
"Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy." - William Golding
4: Lucy and Mr. Tumnus - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
I love a friendship between people and creatures in fantasy. Mr. Tumnus is a great character because he is both Lucy's guide through Narnia and also the one he attempts to betray her. What's great about their friendship is that it is he new found care for Lucy that inspires him to change his motivation and not serve the White Witch. Talk about the power of friendship!
″'Then be off home as quick as you can,' said the Faun, 'and – c-can you ever forgive me for what I meant to do?'
'Why, of course I can,' said Lucy, shaking him heartily by the hand. 'And I do hope you won’t get into dreadful trouble on my account.'" - C. S. Lewis
3: Lily and Rosaleen - The Secret Life of Bees
Lily and Rosaleen's friendship is so stinkin' beautiful. Rosaleen is part-care taker, part mother, part PIC. They go on a journey together that is full of ups and downs and their friendship rings through it. all. They support and care for each other.
"I was the only one who knew that despite her sharp ways, her heart was more tender than a flower skin and she loved me beyond reason" - Sue Monk Kidd
2: Jeeves and Wooster - Right Ho, Jeeves! and other short stories
I adore reading these short stories by P. G. Wodehouse and I think that Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry absolutely brought these characters to life! The humor and wit in their dialogue is delightful. Jeeves is Wooster's ever helpful valet and brain behind every scheme they find themselves in. Absurdity meets brilliance with this friendship!
"I will read it to you. Handed in at Upper Bleaching. Message runs as follows:
When you come tomorrow, bring my football boots.
Also, if humanly possible, Irish water-spaniel.
Urgent. Regards. Tuppy.
"What do you make of that, Jeeves?"
"As I interpret the document, sir, Mr. Glossop wishes you, when you come tomorrow, to bring his football boots. Also, if humanly possible, an Irish water-spaniel. He hints that the matter is urgent, and sends his regards."
"Yes, that is how I read it. But why football boots?"
"Perhaps Mr. Glossop wishes to play football, sir." - P.G. Wodehouse, Very Good, Jeeves!
1: Sam and Frodo - The Lord of the Rings
Sam and Frodo are just one set of many amazing friendships in LOTR. The loyalty Samwise has to help Frodo is so heart-warming and wholesome. Good friends, true friends, are hard to find, and I think that's why I love Samwise so much!
"It would be the death of you to come with me, Sam," said Frodo, "and I could not have borne that."
"Not as certain as being left behind," said Sam.
"But I am going to Mordor."
"I know that well enough, Mr. Frodo. Of course you are. And I'm coming with you.”- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
What is my least favorite literary friendship?
Tracey and Aimee
Don't get me wrong, Swing Time by Zadie Smith is beautifully written. I enjoyed the book as a whole and it's worth a read if you're looking for something new. It gives a sample of life in London in terms of race and relationships. Despite that, I found the friendship between Tracey and Aimee to be selfish. I found their motivations shallow and they annoyed me at times.
Tune in next Sunday here on The Nest where I'll look at more relationships in books.