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Almost every single hero or heroine in literature is an only child. Only children are clearly the BEST :)

(32 Posts)
Very Wed 15-May-19 23:13:44

It's astonishing!

Harry Potter
...and Hermione
...and Draco
...and Neville
...and Luna
...and Pansy, Theo, Luna, Blaise, ....and Remus, Severus, Delphini (spoiler alert!)
and that's just JK Rowling.

There's also everyone from Dickens. Milly Molly Mandy. Pippi Longstocking. Most of the children from Roald Dahl - Charlie, Danny, James, Matilda, etc. Pretty much every Disney princess ever - okay, not ideal childhoods but still proof that NEARLY EVERY INTERESTING CHARACTER IN LITERATURE IS AN ONLY CHILD!


noseoftralee Wed 15-May-19 23:15:48

Anne of Green Gables

Didiusfalco Wed 15-May-19 23:19:29

I dunno. I love Lizzy Bennet and Anne Elliot more because Of their terrible siblings.

maggiemuff Wed 15-May-19 23:20:05

Matilda has a brother

Very Wed 15-May-19 23:21:49

Oooh yes. And so was Gilbert Blythe! <dreamy>

Very Wed 15-May-19 23:22:28

Sorry, that was a reference to Anne of Green Gables.

wafflyversatile Wed 15-May-19 23:22:39

I fear you may have missed the sisters eight series.

Very Wed 15-May-19 23:23:44

Matilda has a brother
I stand corrected.

But Dahl's best characters are all onesies, I posit.

- adds Sophie from BFG to the list

BertrandRussell Wed 15-May-19 23:24:49

Many are also orphans.......

Merril Wed 15-May-19 23:26:31

I dunno. I love Lizzy Bennet and Anne Elliot more because* Of their terrible siblings*

I was going to say the same thing.

Also Jo March from Little Women very obviously had sisters.

In the case of somebody like JK Rowling, I thinks it's more indicative of the fact that in a series like Harry Potter, you can't really write a massive backstory which includes a huge number of siblings for a huge number of characters.

A lot are of characters from fairy tales are also orphans.

Very Wed 15-May-19 23:26:44

Orphans is interesting. Children love a good orphan story
<nods sagely>

Teddybear45 Wed 15-May-19 23:29:48

Actually the heroic trope for mythology is 7th son of a 7th son (or something similar) or bastard son etc. The best literature often involves heroes with siblings (Pride and Prejudice eg). So it just depends on what you read — generally only good writers can pull off well written heroes with siblings as the subplots can take over if you’re not careful.

Very Wed 15-May-19 23:30:24

Merril if you are trying to suggest that JKR was short on SPACE in the Potter books I will ask you to step outside to settle this, perhaps behind the mahoosive unwieldy doorstop that is the Potter books.

NameChangerAmI Sat 18-May-19 12:32:42

Why is that some definitely not all parents of one-child families feel the need to harp on about how it's best to have an only child?

I don't think you ever get that with parents of any other number of children. If you do, I've never personally experienced it.

There are negatives and positives of having one, two, three or six children, but I've genuinely never come across a comparable post by anyone with more than one child.

It's not just you Very, over the years there have been countless posts on here about how having one child is so much better than having any other number of children.

Just saying, and preparing to duck!

NameChangerAmI Sat 18-May-19 12:34:12

It reminds me of some vegans, definitely not all, who feel the need to go on about how amazing it is to be a vegan!

MustardScreams Sat 18-May-19 12:37:14

Because being a one child family is looked down upon, you’re told you are awful for not giving your child a sibling relationship, that you’re making them spoilt and selfish etc etc. I have only ever had negative comments about dd being an only. So it’s nice to see a positive thread, and yes they are usually made by someone with an only as were usually the only ones who have anything positive to say!

NameChangerAmI Sat 18-May-19 12:52:22

Yes, but if you have more than two children, you get negative comments such as how you're contributing to the destruction of the planet; how you must be mad; asked if you have a television/or why you couldn't find something else to do; asked how on earth you manage (and not in a complimentary way, more a you couldn't possibly manage and are clearly not managing way,) not to mention the all time classic - gosh, you've got your hands full (aka - you've got too many children!)

Yet, you don't really see posts from these parents nailing home the point that having 3/4/5/6 children is better than 1 or 2.

Anyway, sorry for high-jacking your post, Very, I should have posted a separate thread if I felt this strongly.

ReganSomerset Sat 18-May-19 13:01:34

RE: Harry Potter, she didn't give him grandparents because it suited the plot better if they were all dead, so probably also made most kids only children to make life easier plot - wise. Also, as pointed out by PP, many of the fictitious children listed were orphaned as infants, so it may not have been their parents' intention to stop at one.

ReganSomerset Sat 18-May-19 13:07:49

Also, several of the only children ended up in unenviable positions that might have been ameliorated had they had siblings to confide in (Severus, Draco, Voldemort himself...)

ReganSomerset Sat 18-May-19 13:09:22

I should add that I have nothing against only children, but enjoy a book-based debate.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Sat 18-May-19 13:20:16

Interesting thread - I've never consciously thought about which characters are only child/have siblings.

Wuthering Heights is an interesting example of dynamics between an only child and siblings for me - although class/legitimacy discrimination was the main crux.

PoorRichard Sat 18-May-19 13:25:11

Why is that some definitely not all parents of one-child families feel the need to harp on about how it's best to have an only child?

Because, while I get that parents with more than two or three children may get snipes about overpopulation, it is only parents of only children who get immediate accusations of selfishness from total strangers all the time.

Taytotots Sat 18-May-19 13:28:49

To be honest i think it's mostly what suits the plot. Why have extra people that aren't needed? And as said above fiction does like an orphan. There are just as many kids books with siblings. To name a few:
Charlotte's web
Dark is rising (6!)
Famous five
The Queen's Nose
The snow spider
Ballet shoes
Swallows and amazons
Lemony snicket
Lion the witch and the wardrobe
Charlie and Lola
I capture the castle

PoorRichard Sat 18-May-19 13:29:19

To add to the children's book conversation in favour of siblings -- the Pevensies in the Narnia books, and the Drews and Will's six older siblings in the Dark is Rising series (which makes him the seventh son of a seventh son, though he doesn't realise because an older brother was stillborn and was never talked about). Not to mention the giant clan of Marlows in Antonia Forest's books -- though she herself was an only child fascinated by a neighbouring large family.

NameChangerAmI Sat 18-May-19 13:29:25

Oh OK, well our experiences are very different.

I had an only child for 10 years, and never received any negative comments at all. Pitying looks, yes, but I got those in abundance with DCs 3 & 4, plus a plethora of extremely judgemental, negative and upsetting comments.

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