Twelve votes. As margins of victory go, it’s a razor-thin one. Nonetheless it’s official: Atticus and Scout Finch have (narrowly!) edged out Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin to win Bas Bleu’s 2016 Literary Presidential Election!
All of the candidates found champions among our readers, but both Atticus and Pooh surged to the head of the pack early on. In ultimately choosing President-elect Finch, voters hailed his fairness, empathy, integrity, courage, and forbearance as deciding factors in their decisions. (Pooh shares many of those qualities, but his honey addiction may have cost him votes.) Generations of readers have learned valuable life lessons from Atticus and Vice President-elect Scout, proving that, though the world we live in may change over time, honor and decency are always in style.
As intelligent readers, we know that life is rarely black and white, lacking predictable chapter breaks and skillfully timed plot points. Reality usually doesn’t wrap up in a tidy conclusion, endings aren’t always happy, and “right” and “wrong” mean different things to different people in different times and places. And yet whether their “district” is Maycomb or Hundred Acre Wood, Middle-Earth or St. Mary Mead, the mighty Mississippi or a school of witchcraft and wizardry, our beloved literary presidential candidates exist so vividly on the page that we are able to follow their examples when choosing how to live our lives in the real world. Thanks to them, we understand a little better the importance of sticking by our friends, making compromises with our neighbors, being considerate of those different from us, and standing up for what we believe in…even if we fear we’ll be standing alone.
Our thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s Literary Presidential Election, from nominating your favorite characters to narrowing down the pool of candidates to casting your votes and making Cabinet suggestions. We hope you had as much fun as we did! For those wondering if our election got any write-in votes, Elizabeth Bennet, Lestat de Lioncourt and Louis de Pont du Lac, Gervais Fen, Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay, and Ishmael were just a few of the alternative candidates put forth by our readers.
We have more four years until the next presidential election, but we suspect you won’t waste any time diving back into the books you love. Who knows which pages will reveal the literary character destined to be your perfect candidate in 2020?!
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