Welcome to Day 19 of the A to Z Challenge. For this year’s challenge, I’ll be examining different types of characters that can be found in international fiction. Today I’m looking at sparky senescent seniors.
This is one of my favorite character types due to the character’s willingness to try new adventures after passing middle age.
Sparky senescent seniors tend to look at the world through an age-polished (or sometimes clouded) lenses and be willing to tackle a new adventure.
Some sparky senescent seniors see society sullenly. Wurman in the short story “The Tornado Auction” is an example of this. As he tackles the goal of nursing a new tornado, he reflects on his present through lenses of his past. Walt Kowalski in Gran Torino is another example. He constantly compares the present generation with the former one and speaks of the good old days. Ed Tom Bell in No Country for Old Men is another example of this.
Although new adventures could be exciting, like capturing a serial killer in No Country for Old Men, one adventure this character also tends to tackle is that of forming a new relationship or reestablishing an old one. Walt Kowalski gets drawn into drama as he decides to let in his neighbors. Wurman wrestles with the ability to let people into his world after becoming both a widower and an empty-nester.
Due to the years of experience and depth of perspective, these characters tend to take readers/viewers on journeys of reflection. Other examples of this character are Allan Karlsson from The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, Edward Cole in The Bucket List, Ove Lindahl from A Man Called Ove.
Can you name other sparky senescent seniors?