06 November 2011

Inspirational Characters: Tiffany Aching

Picture by Krewcia
...If it came to that, the book never gave you the evidence of anything. It talked about ‘a handsome prince’ . . . was he really, or was it just because he was a prince that people called him handsome? As for ‘a girl who was as beautiful as the day was long’ . . . well, which day? In midwinter it hardly ever got light! The stories didn’t want you to think, they just wanted you to believe what you were told...
. . .
Anyway, she preferred the witches to the smug handsome princes and especially to the stupid smirking princesses, who didn’t have the sense of a beetle. They had lovely golden hair, too, and Tiffany didn’t. Her hair was brown, plain brown. Her mother called it chestnut, or sometimes auburn, but Tiffany knew it was brown, brown, brown, just like her eyes. Brown as earth. And did the book have any adventures for people who had brown eyes and brown hair? No, no, no . . . it was the blond people with blue eyes and the redheads with green eyes who got the stories. If you had brown hair you were probably just a servant or a woodcutter or something. Or a dairymaid. Well, that was not going to happen, even if she was good at cheese. She couldn’t be the prince, and she’d never be a princess, and she didn’t want to be a woodcutter, so she’d be the witch and know things, just like Granny Aching—
The Wee Free Men by Sir Terry Pratchett

Tiffany Aching is a fictional character in Terry Pratchett's satirical Discworld series of fantasy novels. She is the protagonist in 4 of his books in which she grows from nine-year old to a girl of sixteen in the last published book. Her stories often parallel mythic heroes' quests, but also deal with Tiffany's difficulties as a young girl maturing into a responsible woman. During the course of the series Tiffany grows to be a witch, however her powers are rather cognitive than magical. She possesses First Sight, the ability to see 'what is really there' (as opposed to Second sight, which shows people what they think ought to be there) and Second Thoughts, which are defined as 'the thoughts you think about the way you think'. As a witch and a young woman, she often faces stereotypes, prejudice and social pressure but always keeps determined to stand her ground and fight injustice.

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