Natasha Blackmore

Sophie Hatter from ‘Howl's Moving Castle' by Diana Wynne Jones

It's very rare when the movie is better than the book, but in this case I believe the book was written with the intention for it to be shown on screen. Having seen the movie first, I was apprehensive about the book, and I agree the movie was better but the main character Sophie was almost an entirely different person in the book. I feel like my eyes were opened to a whole new story.

I think what I admire the most about her is that she sees a problem and she fixes it. Simple as that. She doesn't care whose problem it is - she will look for a solution anyway. In the book, we get a better look into her mind and she is portrayed as a timid, young girl with zero self-confidence. This isn't portrayed in the movie as much which is why it surprised me just how much effort the author put into showing how little Sophie actually thinks of herself. Although this is not a good trait to have, I admire Sophie. She may have need a wicked witch of the west to oust her from her life and give her some excitement, but from that moment on - she started to fight for herself. She left her comfort zone and found where she wanted to go, she stuck her foot in the door and forced it open, invited herself in for breakfast and made some new friends.

Even all through this, she still fought to protect her sisters, demonstrating how important family is which a value that so many people take for is granted. It's hard to get on with family 100% of the time and it's hard to put their feelings and happiness in front of your own, but Sophie does this with only a bit of hesitation. That's what I love about Sophie. She shows hesitation. She has the thought that if she helps her sister it will be at the stake of her own happiness. She hesitates. She pushes through it and goes to help her sister. This is what a real person would do, and this is what pushes her above other characters for me.

I wouldn't say that Sophie shaped me as a person but she was a heavy influence on me. She showed me that it's ok to hesitate, it's ok to be shy and timid and that even people that are overlooked at first can have their big moment and be ousted from their comfort zone and thrust into a big adventure.

Sophie showed me that it's ok to be who I am, and that I change every second of every day, and that it's not a bad thing. She also taught me to hold onto the people that I love with both hands, whether it's over a long distance or if they are just in the other room.

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