The best thing about books is that no matter how old they are or how newly they were published, they can still have an impact on their readers.
The most essential thing about books – aside from their central plots and motifs – are their characters. And any avid reader can see trends in characters whether they’re from the same book or in a different series all together.
In Pride and Prejudice you have Mr. Darcy as one of the main characters and anti-hero. He is a prideful, uncensored, and down-right obnoxious upper class young man. Jane Austen has described him as very handsome but makes his personality less than agreeable. But, through many obstacles and tribulations his personality has become more pleasing for the reader to enjoy.
In the Shadowhunter Chronicles: Infernal Devices, Will Herondale displays these same qualities as Darcy. He has a biting wit and a cold exterior; he constantly pushes people away and tries his hardest to make people hate him.
However, for both of these annoying boys – for that is what they are – they are compassionate, loving, and self-thinking men. It is revealed by Austen that Darcy acts the way he does is because that was what he was taught from a young age. In actuality, Darcy is a very trusting person that tries to do right by people. For example, he lets himself be manipulated by Mr. Wickham because he had felt guilty that he had been cut from the will of his father. He even protects his friend, Mr. Bingley, when he thought the girl he loved – Jane – did not really care for him.
Cassandra Clare does this same thing for Will but in a much darker way. She writes that Will acts the way he does is because he is cursed. When he was twelve, he released a demon from his father’s Pyxis and his older sister, Ella, saves him but the demon curses Will as retribution for being trapped by his father. The curse was that anyone that loved Will would die, Ella died the next day and since then Will pushed everyone away he loved to protect them.
These two characters display traits of antagonists but the reader is entranced when their character is in a scene and continue to read. The more they read, the more clear it becomes that not is all that it seems.
The two characters seem cruel and aggravating on the surface but are really sweet boys that need someone to keep them balanced.
However, Darcy had to be taught that he needs to be himself and not conform to society’s rules. While, Will had no choice but to bury his true self that when he does finally find the people that can heal him, his true self has become so distant that it’s hard for him to be who he was before.
But Will, after many years being married to Tessa, has found himself again and having his Parabati Jem be a source of comfort and someone he knew wouldn’t be harmed by the curse.
Authors – like artists – have their own styles and ways of expressing themselves but there will always be a thread that can connect them – even if it is thin and translucent.