10 Manliest Men in Fiction
Taking this term and applying it to something other than a human, let us consider a Bible. There are many versions to choose from, and even among the translations there are countless variations in physical structure. Some people consider the archaic language of the King James translation to be the most attractive, and in this case what that means is that there's something that draws them to that particular book, something that makes them comfortable with it and prefer it over other books. It is the most desirable read. However, then there's Calvin's Commentaries, or the New Interpreter's Bible, which are truly extensive commentary Bibles. To some, these are incredibly attractive as well, but not necessarily for the same reason. The person who prefers to read the KJV for its language might not appreciate that the NIB uses parallel texts of the NIV and the NRSV. However, the bookshelf-length critical exegesis and hermeneutics are attractive for research. It is enough to draw the biblical scholar in, and he instinctively trusts that he will be pleased by making further acquaintance with these texts. Still further, there's something beautiful about Bibles bound in leather, or antique casing, or filled with old printing press art.
Therefore, I found certain women beautiful. The most beautiful of them all, Molly Jensen, was not someone I was romantically attracted to, but she's the type of person I would automatically click with if I met at a place such as my college, and the type of person I would find myself attaching deep value to in spite of myself.
The standards are different for this list because my perspective on these things are not the same, i.e. I have a certain bias that won't appear when judging men based off of manliness, for the most part, and I obviously won't fanboy over how adorable a male character is. For all I know female readers will find the men of this list attractive, but I will make no such presumption, as I am not taking into account any feminine perspective. I will not judge them based off of any attraction I have to them, or how their presentation enlightens me to how they are precious, beautiful human beings. I believe with my last list my ultimate conclusion was that there was an inherent beauty in all people, if you just look, and that the women I listed had certain traits, ranging from their physical appearance to their personality to their presentation within their roles within their respective stories, really brought this out.
What is the nature and the purpose of this list? This is certainly a list of different sorts than the last one. I would often say that female characters like Darlene Conner inspired me and that I could relate to them. That standard certainly applies to this list as well, but there's something more to it this time.
Because the characters are male, perhaps I connect with them even more. I don't quite see them as what C.S. Lewis might call "the Other" so much as a literary extension of myself, or images of myself that I wish I could exemplify more. In certain modes, I could be these people. I not only admired and valued them, as I would a female character, but I wanted to be them. So yes, I look at these people as role models, mentors, and father figures. Furthermore, they have come to represent what for me is the true art of manliness. My notions of what it meant to be a man, a true man, took their queue from these great mountainous examples. I have an inherent beauty as a human being, but these people taught me how to do that beauty justice through their sheer manliness. Finally, these characters taught me a lot about who I am and helped me discover myself.
Come back tomorrow for the first of the manly men.