October 30, 2016: Giant
Pitting my childhood favorites against each other, Roald Dahl’s The BFG claws its way to the top. The story itself has fallen from much of my memory. What I remember is that it made its way into my earliest senses of identity and character, back when there was ample space to fill and shape its nature. I considered other childhood favorites –The Berenstein Bears, Calvin and Hobbes, The Looney Tunes – that wrestled with The Big Friendly Giant to claim the crown of my childhood’s formative imagination. Goofy from Disney remains my most beloved character, and in him I now see parallels with The BFG himself – both taller than average, fun and silly, light-hearded yet with conviction in purpose. The BFG believed in his conviction of what is right, even if he is the only one amidst a bigger, larger, dominating status quo. In the story he stood by a young boy’s side as his protector, his confidant, and his friend. That much I remember of the story itself. The difference between The BFG and its rivals in my childhood’s malleable world of possibility was that The BFG was a story indeed, with a journey that began and ended, leaving no loose ends of who The BFG is and what he believes. The Big Friendly Giant stuck with me because the character himself, inherently friendly, found his way to a view of the world that I found purpose in, that I took with me into my own journey.