Sunday, April 20, 2014

Characters Can Exist Outside of the Story: "Six Characters in Search of and Author" vs Inkheart

The Play “Six Characters in Search of an Author” reminded me a lot of the book Inkheart. In the play the characters exist from a story, but have never been given an outlet to act out their stories. These six characters are searching for an author who will bring them to life. What is strange about these six characters is they seem to be continuously ‘acting’ out their play, which soon I realized was their actual lives. They are characters from a story thrown into the real world and now they must find a purpose. When these six characters try to exist within the real world they are too over the top, and dramatic. The book Inkheart has a similar feel.

Inkheart was written by Cornelia Funke and was released in 2003. The original German title is Tintenherz. The book follows the story of a young girl named Meggie who lives with her father Mortimer. Mortimer (Mo) has a special gift, when he reads out loud the characters come out of the book and into the real world. 

One night Mo is reading from a book (Inkheart), he lets out a few characters, Capricorn, Basta, and Dust Finger.  These characters within the book had personalities that were given to them by their author. When they enter the real world they are able to adapt and become “real”. Mo is not the only one with this power, but he is one of the only readers who are able to bring people into the “real” world whole. Other readers have characters come out flat, or with words still written on their faces, or even missing limbs and voices.  

Inkheart differs from “Six Characters” because the characters are able to adapt and become a part of the “real”  world, while the six characters are unable to move on from the story that was originally written for them. I wonder why the six characters are so tied to sticking with ‘their story’. They have left the grasp of their author who was unwilling to give them life, but they are unable to leave the crappy dramatic lives that were written for them. I think that this is why Inkheart stands out to me. Within this novel characters are allowed to exist however they want in the world they inhabit. Even if they do not necessarily belong there they are able to create a life for themselves.

The six characters do not lie that there are actors trying to play themselves. It is seen as an insult and almost feels wrong or creepy. I feel that the characters brought this on themselves. These six characters have not moved on from the cookie cutter story that was written around them, it makes it easy for actors to pick up on their over dramatic and bizarre quirks. Yes, it may feel offensive, but I think if these characters had created real lives for themselves being characterized would not hurt as much. 


  1. Ooo-- looks like a good read for Roo...

  2. yes! and there are three. Inkheart Inkspell and Inkdeath


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