Saturday, February 14, 2009

Weekly Geeks: Naming it!

What are some of your favorite character names?

Go to Google or a baby name site and look up a favorite character's name. What does their name mean? Do you think the meaning fits the character? Why or why not?

Here I take only two characters who are always there in my mind:

Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

It's meaning is "Sloping wasteland." I think it suits the character.

Heathcliff, is named so by his adopted father, Mr. Earnshaw. He does not have a last name and is characterised as passionate, dark, brooding, and vindictive. He is what he is because of his all-consuming but thwarted love for Catherine, his foster sister.

Howard Roark from The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

Roark: Its source is a Gaelic expression meaning "Champion." Some authorities assert that this name came from an Old English expression meaning ''rock,'' and that it was given as a surname to those living close to a remarkable outcropping of stone. It totally fits the character.

The Fountainhead's protagonist, Howard Roark, is an idealistic young architect who chooses to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his artistic and personal vision. The book follows his battle to practice modern architecture, which he believes to be superior, despite an establishment centered on tradition-worship. How others in the novel relate to Roark demonstrate Rand's various archetypes of human character, all of which are variants between Roark, her ideal man of independent-mindedness and integrity, and what she described as the "second-handers."

Gautami Sujata:

I was named after the untouchable disciple of Gautama Buddha....Sujata....she was known as Gautami Sujata.

Then there is a very famous river, Gautami in the south of India.

Sujata is a sanskrit word meaning "from a good family origin". 'Su' means 'good' and 'jata' implies 'jati' or 'caste'. Thus the implied and correct meaning of the word Sujata means 'of good caste' or 'the well born'. It has to be noted here that the caste-system is the spine of Hinduism. And therefore, 'jata' has specific reference to 'jati' meaning 'caste.'

Buddha was against the caste system. And I have always followed what my name denotes. Caste is what we really are. In our thinking and not our origin of birth.