It’s all about the final four – While we were in the midst of March Madness we captured these literature brackets from my students.
Characters The Bracket Maker Would Like to Marry – out of a varied field of potential mates, four emerge in the finals – Odysseus (the ultimate hero), Rorschach, Jay Gatsby, and Edward Cullen. In the end, dreamy sparkly, romantic Edward beats the older, stronger hero. (ed. note – The whole Willoughby/Col. Brandon conundrum again.)
Most Insane Character – Interesting field of characters boils down to the final four of Stanley Kowalski (ed note -someone I think of as sane -crazy like a fox?), Beloved, Alice, and the Cheshire Cat. Alice wins in the final round because she is so gullible and “always believes everything the characters tell her to do.” I suppose this would be a regular day, if you were mad.
Best Asset to a Football Team – Ishmael Beah (Long Way Gone) beats out a strong field and emerges from a final four of The Comedian, Leopard Man (from the Island of Dr. Moreau) and Tom Joad. It’s his strengths in strategy and cooperation that make him a team asset.
Battle Royale – Strong field of participants, none of which I would like to meet on a dark night, but the final four are Admiral Ackbar (Star Wars), Beloved, Light Yagami (from Death Note) and Rorschach. Ackbar takes it all – by realizing it’s a trap.
My BFF – Quite a wide variety of characters made the sweet 16, but the final four were a loyal and true bunch: Romeo, Door, Huck Finn and Richard Mayhew. She chose Huck because she thinks that she “will always have fun together. Huck and I would always go on wild adventures and manage to find mischief.”
Characters That The Bracket Maker Would Like to Be Friends With – Some wacky choices in his sweet 16, but his final four features Gandalf, Dr. Dredd, Ender Wiggins, and Jay Gatsby. In the end, the winner is Gandalf because Ender may go berserk and destroy everything; the worst that Gandalf can do is teleport away. (ed note – and do cool stuff with smoke and fire)
Most Shocking or Least Expected Ending. Her Sweet 16 includes titles like A Thousand Splendid Suns and the Kite Runner, but her final four boiled down to Watchmen, Beloved, Ender’s Game and The Great Gatsby. Watchmen defeats Ender in the final round. She calls this the “toughest call ever made. The winner has to be Watchmen because you would never have guessed that Ozymandias was killing superheroes, creating an alien, or blowing up half of the New York in order to restore the peace that was lost ion the world.”
I’d Rather Be– Legolas! He beats out a strong field with an amazing final four of Harry Potter, The Comedian, and Holden Caulfield. In the end, Legolas would live forever and is more badass, an epic combination.
Strongest Leading Lady – And amazing field of 16 contestants, anchored by the final four of Marjane Satrapi, Door, Lady Macbeth, Hester Prynne. Hester takes the title – no whining!
Most Awesome Character – excellent final four of Gandalf, Rorschach, Doctor Manhattan & Odysseus. In the final game 2000 years of awesome Odysseus beats Gandalf.
The Book with the Weirdest (Stuff) In It – She assembled a sweet sixteen full of the oddest, strangest, psychosis inducing texts that she could find and ended up with a final four of Harry Potter, Watchmen, Alice in Wonderland, and Neverwhere. In a crazy battle of madness, Alice beats Watchmen because although Rorschach’s journals are the product of a madman’s mind, “Alice’s drug fueled plot schools all.”
Best College Roommate. Yeah, we know he’s the POTUS, but my student also thinks he will be a great roommate. Out of a strong field of potential housemates that included Jay Gatsby (nice parties, agreed) and Harry Potter, the final four came down to Dr. Manhattan, Henry and his dog Mudge, Holden Coulfield, and the POTUS. Obama takes the crown because “he’s the smartest man in the world and he’s lived in Chicago making him the best roommate.”
Most Depressing Yet Hopeful Story – She assembled a bittersweet sixteen that included The Diary of Anne Frank and Macbeth. Her final four features A Million Little Pieces, Wasted, The Kite Runner, and the Things They Carried with James Frey’s novel of addiction taking the championship due in part to “the account of getting a root canal with no anesthesia beats Kite Runner any day. Most depressing but hopeful because of his recovery and loss of addiction.”
Heroism Per Pound – and the winner is BILBO Baggins! Although the final field of four included legendary heavyweight heroes Odysseus and Night Owl, the light-in-weight Bilbo had tough competition in Ender Wiggins. It all came down to the epic heroes of Bilbo and Odysseus, but per pound the hobbit takes it.
Characters Whom The Bracketeer Would Like to Date – an interesting final four with Dr. Manhattan, Rorschach, Jay Gatsby & Barack Obama. Obama wins because he is POTUS and my student thinks she “would get tired of dating someone who isn’t really a person” or doesn’t have real feelings (Dr. Manhattan).
One on One Street Baller – no rules – great final four or Dr. Manhattan, M’ling (Island of Dr. Moreau), Willy Wonka & The Comedian. M’ling pulls out a last second victory against the Comedian as he “unleashes his inner beast as he wins the Championship on a last second shot. The Comedian does not have luck on his side and is not quite as strong as M’ling.”
Best Woman Character – My student assembled a collection of female characters that I’d love to hang out with. Her sweet sixteen included Lois Lane and Hermione Granger. The final four came down to Hester Prynne, the goddess Calypso, Weena, and Anne Frank, with Hester winning it all. She prevailed over Anne Frank because although “both of these characters are persecuted, Hester has to raise her daughter Pearl” and witness the death of her lover.
So, what would be your bracket? Who would be in it and why? Mine was an amazing dinner party assembled, and the person that I most would like to have dinner with came down to a final word fest between Atticus Finch and Elizabeth Bennett. And although I would love to be BFFs with Miss Bennett (or Mrs. Darcy) I think dinner with Atticus would have to be amazing.
Photo by flickr member chanchan222