Literary Characters as Criminal Suspects

Okay, maybe it’s a little unfair to describe it like that. There’s this awesome Tumblr called The Composites, where images of famous literary characters are created “using law enforcement composite sketch software and descriptions of literary characters”. Hmm, close enough, no?

Daisy Buchanan, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth…a conscientious expression…Slenderly, languidly…an expression of unthoughtful sadness…her cheeks flushed…she looked at me with an absolute smirk on her lovely face as if she had asserted her membership in a rather distinguished secret society…a bright ecstatic smile…Aching, grieving beauty… For Daisy was young and her artificial world was redolent of orchids and pleasant, cheerful snobbery…Girls were swooning backward playfully into men’s arms, even into groups knowing that some one would arrest their falls—but no one swooned backward on Gatsby and no French bob touched Gatsby’s shoulder.

This is shallow of me, but Daisy doesn’t look arresting or interesting enough to be an object of Gatsby’s obsession. Sure, it was never entirely about Daisy as Daisy, but also partly about her position in society and what that represents to Gatsby, but I always imagine Daisy looking very distinctive. Not necessarily beautiful, but not forgettable either.

Tess, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy

She was a fine and handsome girl—not handsomer than some others, possibly—but her mobile peony mouth and large innocent eyes added eloquence to colour and shape… The pouted-up deep red mouth to which this syllable was native had hardly as yet settled into its definite shape, and her lower lip had a way of thrusting the middle of her top one upward, when they closed together after a word…Phases of her childhood lurked in her aspect still. As she walked along to-day, for all her bouncing handsome womanliness, you could sometimes see her twelfth year in her cheeks, or her ninth sparkling from her eyes…a thick cable of twisted dark hair hanging straight down her back to her waist.

She looks a bit like Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey, right? This one feels right, the sadness came through clearly through the eyes.

Humbert Humbert, Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

Gloomy good looks…Clean-cut jaw, muscular hand, deep sonorous voice…broad shoulder…I was, and still am, despite mes malheurs, an exceptionally handsome male; slow-moving, tall, with soft dark hair and a gloomy but all the more seductive cast of demeanor. Exceptional virility often reflects in the subject’s displayable features a sullen and congested something that pertains to what he has to conceal. And this was my case…But instead I am lanky, big-boned, wooly-chested Humbert Humbert, with thick black eyebrows…A cesspoolful of rotting monsters behind his slow boyish smile…aging ape eyes…Humbert’s face might twitch with neuralgia.

Hmm, he doesn’t look as creepy and sleazy as I imagined. But I guess that’s the point, Humbert Humbert probably does not look creepy and sleazy on the outside.

Lots more here:


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