*Warning: This post contains spoilers in regards to the narrative and characters from the musical Fiddler On The Roof. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the movie or any of the stage adaptations.
There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.
In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Fiddler On The Roof to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.
Some say that men are the rulers in their homes, the kings of their very own castle. As much as I would like to believe it, that is in fact a lie. The reality is that the woman is in charge of the house and the family.
“The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants”-My Big Fat Greek Wedding
In Fiddler On The Roof, Tevye thinks he is in charge at home. His wife, Golde, knows the truth. Golde is the ying to her husband’s yang. Golde is a realist, not afraid to tell it like it is and occasionally burst Teyve’s fantasy like bubble. Her husband is a dairy man whose income is on the lower end of the economic scale. Considering that they have five daughters to house, cloth, raise and feed, Golde’s position is not an easy one.
Like all couples in that culture, their marriage was not a love match, but an arraigned marriage. While there is no fairy tale like romance between Tevye and Golde, they remain loyal to each other and do the best they can to keep their family afloat.
To sum it: Golde is no one’s fool and no one’s pushover. She is smart, capable and does what she needs to do so her family can survive, even under the most difficult of circumstances. When a writer creates a character like Golde, he or she is walking a writing tightrope: the character must be firmly rooted in the world she lives in, while creating an undercurrent which will shape the destines of future generations. Golde may appear to be just another wife and mother, but it is her strength and courage that will inspire future generations of women to change the world.