What Firefly Character Do You Identify With?

by disperser

It might easily be Jayne, with his black-and-white approach to life, his fondness of guns, and his lack of angst regarding life and his place in it.

Or it could just as easily be Wash, with his easy sense of humor – a joke always lurking around the corner.  Wash is good at what he does, and is happy with his place in the world. No extraordinary ambition there other than to be near his wife, Zoe.

I can identify with many aspects of Zoe.  Hard, reserved, singular in her purpose, and never showing weakness.  She recognizes the world as a hard place, one where a thick armor will serve you well for doing things that need be done.  

Kaylee is a good candidate as well.  Idealistic, honest, sensitive – a lover of life and all its little pleasures.  Easily hurt, but easily pleased as well.  Does not take much for her to bounce back and offer up a smile.  Never asking for much but good companionship, the chance to do what she loves, and to see the ‘verse. 

Inara’s reserved façade, her ability to handle people, her diplomacy, and her sensitivity to the needs of others, all are an easy fit.  

Book’s effort to find a connection between his inner spirituality and the physical world he inhabits.  Wanting to follow a path based on a set of written rules, but ultimately deciding on a course of action not based on a doctrine, but on the circumstances he is faced with.  

Simon’s dedication to family, his selfless sacrifice, and his efforts to maintain a measure of dignity and propriety amid a chaotic and unruly world.

River for her struggle, her reaction to a flood of information and stimuli that she cannot control and get a handle on.  Her sense of not being able to tell what is real and what is an artificial construct based on lies, and the corresponding flood of conflicting fears, hopes, and memories.  Her intuitive/psychic glimpse into the inner workings of her fellow travelers, and the resulting confusion when compared to their actions. 

I, as many others, could latch on to any one of those characters and identify with various parts of their virtual experience (yes, I know they are not real).  But there are two others that may fit the bill a little better.  One is Mal.

Mal has parts of all the other other characters.  As we see through the series, he shows each of the attributes I mention above, plus one other; decision maker.  His willingness to make decisions, and to shoulder the responsibility for those decisions, is what binds the rest to him.  They appear, and are, content to give input, but defer to whatever he decides.  

Any one of the others could leave at any time, and go out to find their own way in the world, but for whatever reason, they remain and follow Mal.  Having run a business that was, in many respects, like a family to me, it would be easy to identify with Mal.  But it would be hard to match my self-image to the largess of the Mal character. 

Of course, the last character is Serenity.

A flawed, aging, but still viable vehicle that houses all this mishmash of personalities, and carries them along as best it can.  It does not care what the destination is, and its course is sometimes directed by the whim of circumstance, but it just goes on.  

Sometimes its direction is determined by compassion, other times in greed, sometimes in fear, and often by self preservation. But it goes on.

Despite all the conflicts it carries, despite the turmoil, self-doubt, and contradictions that exist within it, from the outside it presents itself as an entity with a unified purpose. Following the discussions and Mal’s decisions, we see the outside of the ship as it heads into the unknown.  We see it as a whole, with a unified purpose. 

But we know of the uncertainty within, and we know of the resolve to to live by the decision.  I don’t know if Joss set out to specifically present that aspect of life, but that is what I identify with.  Serenity as a character.

An outer shell masking the navigation of difficult issues, problems, and challenges within, but presenting a resolute and clear direction to the rest of the world.  The casual observer will not see the turmoil; only the path it travels.  May not be always right, may not be always smart, but it is based on optimism and the best intentions possible given the circumstances. 

This may sound corny to some, presumptuous to others, and contrived to the rest.

Perhaps so. Perhaps I really identify with YoSafBridge, never showing what’s really there, only presenting what people want to see.  Either way, I hope it’s been a good read. 

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6 Responses to “What Firefly Character Do You Identify With?”

  1. Definitely identified with Wash. It was a great show, but I guess there is no room in the modern TV world for that.

    • Wash, eh? With or without a mustache?

      • Without preferably, but I have been known to rock the ‘stache ( and by “rock the ‘stache” I mean walk around with hair under my nose like a creepster; scaring kids and women alike)

        • Wait a second . . . “like a creepster”? . . . I sport hair under my nose!

          . . . of course, I keep my trimmed very short (more like a stubble). And, mustache or not, my visage scares kids, women, and small animals all on its own, so I can be fairly lax about shaving and stuff.

          • I am lucky enough to have a job where I don’t have to shave! I get called “duck dynasty” a lot, and Forrest Gump when he is jogging. Been called worse

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