Image: Martin Pettitt / Flickr
Image: Martin Pettitt / Flickr

Literary characters at the Societies Fair

Warwick Welcome Week 2018. Hectic, chaotic and intimidating but also an opportunity to expand your horizons and experience new things. Nothing sums up this sentiment more than the endless possibilities available at the societies fair; Warwick’s annual event where non-sporting clubs are given the opportunity to present their area of expertise, talk to arriving students and encourage new members to sign up.

With such a diverse selection of societies and activities to choose from, many students are often unsure of how to approach the event or how to decide between the numerous stalls on offer. However, some should take comfort in the fact that even the most famous and prestigious literary characters would face the same difficulties, navigating themselves through the event in different ways…

Hermione Granger: The keen one

Considering Hermione’s instant dedication to the magical craft and immediate enthusiasm about all things Hogwarts, it’s hard not to picture the brains of the Harry Potter series immediately throwing herself into life at Warwick, starting with the societies fair.

Queuing outside the Sports Hall at 9am for the event’s 10am start, Granger is prepared to engage with every society she can on her quest for knowledge, wandering back and forth between numerous stalls throughout the day with a willingness to participate in every aspect of university life. Some would consider her impressively dedicated, others excessively keen.  Either way, she reluctantly leaves hours later with her Quidditch membership and position on The Boar’s exec, allowing the exhausted society members to finally pack their stalls away.

Fitzgerald’s iconic character can be defined by and pitied for his unrelenting drive for monetary success

Jay Gatsby: The CV-driven one

Fitzgerald’s iconic character can be defined by and pitied for his unrelenting drive for monetary success. Gatsby enters the societies fair with purpose, only visiting the stalls he can use to better himself, improve his CV and widen his job prospects once he graduates. Leaving only with his financial forum membership and no new acquaintances, this entrepreneur’s absolute dedication to his studies and reluctance to engage in the extra-curricular activities Warwick has to offer renders him Welcome Week’s truly tragic figure.

Elizabeth Bennet: The witty one

Described as having a “lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous”, it is a given that Elizabeth Bennet would be excited by the prospect of Warwick’s Societies Fair and approach each activity with an open mind.

Our heroine is reluctant to rush towards the first stall in sight. Instead, she takes a slow turn around the room, observing each stall in turn and the people running them. Once positive judgements are made and a destination decided, Bennet’s quick wit makes her fast friends. Her sharp tongue and unconcealable intelligence would make her a hit at Warwick Comedy’s stand-up shows, whilst her irrepressible opinions could make for an interesting addition to the Debating Society.

In Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde created the perfect loophole every student wishes they could exploit

Dorian Grey: The tired one

In Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde created the perfect loophole every student wishes they could exploit: the ability to go without sleep and socialise to excess without looking the worse for wear. During Welcome Week, these abilities prove particularly useful for Gray, allowing him to engage with every stall, attend every welcome social and keep up with every assignment his degree throws his way. However, when the society fair is over and Gray returns to his isolated room in Bluebell accommodation block, the haggard look in his portrait’s lifelike features exists as a stark reminder of the price an overly keen student can pay for participating in more societies than they can handle. With a flair for the dramatic, Gray’s personal favourites are Warwick Improvised Theatre Society and Freshblood New Writing.

Bilbo Baggins: The foodie 

After travelling with Dwarfs, fighting alongside wizards and surviving in the face of Dragonfire, you would think that the hustle and bustle of the Societies Fair would be just another adventure for this brave hobbit. Nevertheless, even the most courageous of heroes can find it entirely overwhelming.

Timidly walking into the busy sports hall, Bilbo cannot help but wish to be back among the familiarity of his cosy hobbit hole or the peaceful scenery of Lakeside that acts as its measly substitute. However, this hobbit’s nose for good food and homely comforts cannot help but be drawn to the delicious smells coming from the cheese and chocolate stand, allowing our hero to seek solace in the delicious freebies they and other food-based societies offer throughout the day.

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