We are in the South, and here, to some, there is a religious objection to the celebration of Halloween. In school, therefore, the kids have “literary character day” annually, instead. While it is always somewhat irksome to me as a parent to have to come up with a second costume (really???), I also absolutely love any idea that inspires kids to think about books and the characters they feel a kinship with. (Heck, I love any idea that inspires me to think about books and the characters I feel a kinship with!) Plus it’s great to see them walking around the school, “recognizing” each other. (As in, “you’re Harry Potter!”)
“I think if human beings had genuine courage, they’d wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween. Wouldn’t life be more interesting that way? And now that I think about it, why the heck don’t they? Who made the rule that everybody has to dress like sheep 364 days of the year? Think of all the people you’d meet if they were in costume every day. People would be so much easier to talk to – like talking to dogs. ”
― Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief
If dressing as a literary character were a custom of our society, who would you dress as?
I have thought often that, if the excuse presented itself, I might like to dress up as Elizabeth Bennett on those days when I’m feeling feisty and strong; or Katniss Everdeen at those times when I’m feeling (or needing to feel) courageous; or even, on those days when I am feeling particularly anti-social, Lady Macbeth. I’d have Willy Wonka days, and Alice days, and Frankenstein’s Monster days…
Can you imagine? Every closet would be like a library of costumes to choose from each morning, and every library a closet of characters to become. And throughout our days we would continuously be gently nudged toward deep introspection each time someone inquires, “who are you?” (because really, that question is always about so much more than just the clothes we’re wearing).
It’s Halloween. You may be dressed as someone (or something) else today, or you may be dressed as yourself. But the eternal question is, Who Are You?