What’s in a character’s name?
How does a writer select the perfect name?
Is it the symbolism behind a name? Some personal preference? Just what comes to mind?
I recently watched I, Robot. Great film, heavy symbolism, terrific imagery – well worth the invested time to watch. However, it was one character’s name that stopped traffic for me, one name that held center stage, the robot: Sonny
The meanings behind such a simple name captured my attention. Was the robot so named because . . .
1) The doctor considered himself to be the figurative father of all these robots, but specifically this one that existed only because of his creative powers. He made Sonny personally – rather like fathering a son.
2) Or did the original creator of I, Robot, author Isaac Asimov, mean to enact a more literal link: Sonny as the actual son of God. Certainly, the imagery exists for viewers of the movie, I, Robot to make this connection. Watch the closing seconds of the film. Sonny stands atop a hill in front of a destroyed bridge (that closely resembles a cross) as thousands mass beneath the hill and turn expectantly toward him and the insight he can provide. What will these gathered masses learn? Sonny has the secret. All are created with the ability to choose – the ultimate freedom. It does smack of Christianity, does it not?
Whether you’re a writer, a reader, a TV/Movie buff, you have an opinion on a favorite character’s name. Share and tell why. Are you a parent? How did you pick your children’s names? Family tradition? Favorite name? What you’d like to be named? Come on — do share!