Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a book-related prompt for book bloggers to answer. This week is a Thanksgiving-themed freebie.
As an Australian, I find myself putting a lot of things down as ‘Americanisms I Understand in Theory but Will Probably Never Fully Get.’ I know about certain things – Thanksgiving, Halloween, Black Friday – because of American books and television shows, but will probably never appreciate or fully understand them because I will never experience them for myself. In this case, there is only so much information I can glean from Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer about Thanksgiving.
Needless to say, I was scratching my head a little at what to write about for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday – while so many American bloggers will be writing about fictional families they’d like to celebrate Thanksgiving with or drawing up lists of some non-bookish things they’re thankful for, I can’t really join in the celebrations. And then it came to me: this Tuesday, I shall be sharing with you some of the fictional families I’d like to learn about Thanksgiving from! This list is the first time in awhile that I haven’t been able to make a top ten, but I don’t read enough contemporary or classic American novels to make a top ten (which is a little awkward to admit).
4. Anne Shirley & the Cuthberts (Anne of Green Gables): I know, I know – Anne is Canadian! Canadians still celebrate Thanksgiving, although from what I have gathered from my Canadian friends is that they celebrate it a bit earlier in November. Are there differences in the way Americans and Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving? If so, how did the different traditions emerge? In America, Thanksgiving was originally a celebration of a successful harvest thanks to the knowledge of Native Americans, correct? So does Canada celebrate for similar reasons? What knowledge did the Native Americans indigenous to Canada share with the English/French settlers? These are things I need to know. While I could probably learn this from a quick glance at Wikipedia, I’d be more interested in learning these things from Anne & Matthew (Marilla would probably lose patience with me, let’s be honest).
3. The Inhabitants of 300 Fox Way (The Raven Cycle): or Blue and her boys, I’m not picky. I just think a Thanksgiving with the psychic women of 300 Fox Way would be an experience to remember.
2. The Finches (To Kill a Mockingbird): I know everybody is up in arms about Go Set a Watchman, but given that it was a draft that was discovered (and probably went through very little editing given Lee’s state of health) and we don’t know how much Harper Lee chose to change about her characters in between writing Go Set a Watchman and To Kill a Mockingbird, I’ve decided to disregard the characterisations in Go Set a Watchman and focus solely on what I know about the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus taught his children tolerance, compassion, and kindness – all of which are things I associate with the holiday season above all else (but you should be practicing these things year-round, folks).
If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.
– Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
1. The March Sisters (Little Women): Above all, Thanksgiving appears to be like Christmas or Hanukkah: it’s a time for family and loved ones. It’s a time where people show their generosity of spirit, their kindness. There is no other family in American literature that I can think of that embodies this more than the March family. Despite the family being relatively poor, Beth convinces her sisters to give their food to the Hummels, a family even poorer than the Marches. Despite dreaming of being a famous author in New York, Jo returns home when Beth is sick to nurse her beloved sister. And when Jo inherits a house from Aunt March, she turns it into a school!
If you’re Canadian or American: which fictional families you’d like to celebrate Thanksgiving with? What are your favourite Thanksgiving traditions? If you’re from elsewhere in the world, which fictional families would you like to learn about Thanksgiving from? Don’t forget to comment below or head on over to the Broke and the Bookish to join in and link up. To all those who celebrate it, happy Thanksgiving! May your holidays be filled with family, friends and good food. To all those who do not, may your week be filled with joy and good things.