In this post I’m going to talk about my three favourite characters from Enid Blyton and the reasons why they are my favourites.
Series: Malory Towers.
In First Term at Malory Towers, Sally Hope starts off as a rather sullen character, with none of the spark that surrounds the series main protagonist, Darrell Rivers. However, this is only the beginning of Malory Towers and first appearances and perceptions can be deceiving. In Sally’s case this is true and without giving away too much of the plot, by the end she is a completely different character.
Sally gains a reputation amongst readers and other Malory Towers characters of being sensible and steady so she rather gets overshadowed by the brasher characters, such as Alicia, and even Darrell at times. Sally is always described as ‘Darrell’s steadying influence’, and the opposite to Alicia (so much so that the two often come to blows!)
The main reason that sensible and steady Sally Hope appeals to me over the other characters (bar one – but we’ll talk about her later!) is because I can relate to Sally where I couldn’t relate to the others characters so well. I will always be the steady (mostly) sensible one, and Sally’s sometimes two dimensional personality appeals to me. I also believe that she has a wealth of untapped potential such as; flashes of jealousy (Third Term at Malory Towers), sparks of humour (Second Term at Malory Towers; Third Form at Malory Towers and Upper Fourth at Malory Towers), intelligence, and, above all else, loyalty to her friends (First Term at Malory Towers and Upper Fourth at Malory Towers).
There is something about Sally’s unseen character that appeals me as well, which could be why I’ve written her as a central character in my very own Blyton Adventure. I think that Sally Hope deserves a lot more credit than people give her, because she’s that best friend who we all love so dearly!
Wilhelmina ‘Bill’ Robinson
Series: Malory Towers
Wilhelmina Robinson doesn’t want to be at Malory Towers if it means missing out on her time with her beloved horse Thunder and throughout her first term at Malory Towers which is the Third Term at Malory Towers she is disobedient to her form tutor’s wishes and goes out to see her horse, regardless.
Wilhelmina is a tomboy, having seven brothers, and she likes to be called Bill. The logic is simple, boys called William, get called Bill, and why can’t Wilhelmina be shortened to Bill?
The reason I find Bill, as a character so appealing is that she has a basic form of rebellion that is so effective. She doesn’t want to be a girl, so she gets called Bill and accidently ignores her teachers when they try to call her Wilhelmina. I also enjoy Bill’s solid, practical nature. There is a feel of simplicity about Bill that stems from her practicality rather than a lack of intelligence, especially in In the Fifth at Malory Towers after a particularly spiteful incident, she is the first to try and restore normality.
Another part of my reason for favouring Bill is that she was always the tomboy I was never able to be! By the time you’ve finished reading this you may be wondering why I picked Bill over Georgina ‘George’ Kirrin, and the answer is that when I was younger, I never really warmed to George with her spiky temper, but Bill with her easy going, laid back nature and humour was far more appealing than a sulky George could ever be. So when it comes to the fight of the tomboys, Bill wins hands down.
My third and final favourite character seems to take on the “You either love him, or you hate him” banner. Ladies and Gents, I give you;
Series: The Famous Five
Julian Kirrin is the undisputed leader of the Famous Five and divides opinion in this modern day and age with a lot of people disliking him and his attitude, but some (like myself) like him. Many people dislike Julian’s ‘pompous’ manner, so related to the attitude of men at the time. Julian assumes natural leadership and responsibility over the five because of his age.
Julian comes in for a lot of stick, but from my point of view, I do believe he’s the perfect gentleman. He takes on a serious amount of responsibility when he leads the five; would you like to tell George what she can and can’t do? I know I wouldn’t.
Julian Kirrin has great strength of character, he has a clear line of right and wrong when it comes to adventures, and will always come down firmly on the side of right. He cares greatly for his sister Anne, even though some see this as part of his pompous attitude because he automatically assumes that Anne is happy to “play house” while they’re on their adventures. Even though these actions highlight the clear gender divide of the time, they are in a way playing towards Anne’s strengths and help greatly when she can focus on feeding her brothers and cousins if she’s getting scared about the adventure in hand.
Part of Julian’s appeal for me, is not just how the other members of the Famous Five respond to him, but the characters that the Five make friends with respond to Julian with a level of respect. Two of my favourite interactions that Julian has are with some of the younger characters, such as Aily from Five get into a Fix and Jennifer Mary Armstrong in Five Runaway Together. In these books the little girls respond to his kindness and trust him to keep them safe. Julian is certainly the kind of boy who appeals to my sense of old time charm.
Now to find the 21st Century Julian! *wink*I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my favourite Blyton characters, and that you understand my reasons for liking them so much.
Why don’t you leave us a comment on your favourite character? Of even better write us a blog to post on your favourite three!