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Lark asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 10 years ago

If classic literary characters and historical figures lived in 2010, do you think they'd be a "Mac" or a "PC"?

Do you think Elizabeth Bennet would use a MacBook, or opt for a Dell? Would Dolores Haze, aka “Lolita” want the bubble-gum pink Sony Vaio? I think Pablo Picasso, Dorian Gray and Mercutio would go for the iMac. Benjamin Franklin would probably select a sensible, no-frills PC desktop that he would keep for a decade and continuously improve upon himself.

Of course, these are just my speculations, and the point of the question is to find out what you think. So, feel free to come up with your own list of historical figures and classic literary characters, and imagine whether they’d be a “PC” or a “Mac.” You can write about your favorite characters – literary or from film or television - instead of or in addition to the classic ones.

Bonus Questions:

1. What phone would the characters / historical figures use if they were alive today? For example, would Romeo and Juliet text each other from their iPhones?

2. What websites would they bookmark?

3. What image would they use for their desktop background?

4. If they had an iPhone or another phone with apps, which ones would they use the most?

5. What would their screen names and email addresses be?

6. If Leonardo Di Vinci invented his own brand of computers, what do you think he would call it?

7. What kind of computer do *you* use, and would you recommend it to college student?

Thanks in advance for your answers. I hope those of you celebrating Labor Day have a fabulous long weekend, and that everyone else is also happy and well. : )


Thank you for your fantastic answer, Kathryn W. : )

Update 2:

Pragmatist ~ I now understand why you used to have Ebenezer Scrooge as your avatar picture. : )

Please don't feel like you are obliged to answer all of my questions simply because you're a contact. Your perspective on laptops and technology in general is understandably quite different than mine since you're in your 50s and I'm in my teens. I disagree with you completely.

If Jo March, Emma Bovary, Lily Bart or Daisy Miller were real-life people who lived in modern times I do think they'd deliberate on the computer they bought, and they'd use it for more than the ordinary tasks that you do. One of my favorite characters, Thea Kronberg, would definitely favor a Mac and take advantage of Garageband and some of the other software that would help her improve her craft.

The question was about famous characters, not famous writers, and there's a tremendous difference.

Update 3:

Yes, perhaps William Thackeray would have simply used a generic computer as a tool for his writing, but Becky Sharp wouldn't. As an image-conscious, materialistic young woman she would never have used an old Gateway.

You were supposed to consider the personality quirks of the characters and imagine what they'd be like living in modern society. Do you genuinely believe that the teenage and young adult characters of famous literature would share your banal view of computers if they were alive today?

Take care.

6 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    I'm just marking my place here, even though I can't answer right this second. But I do know if I don't mark the question that it will just completely escape my mind and I'll never get around to it. I'm actually thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis sleep deprived right now, and when that happens I start to go a bit loopy. My friend rang and ordered that I get some sleep because apparently I sound like I'm a drug user on helium because that's what happens when I'm completely overtired. But it's 8:00 which is *way* too early to go to sleep, so I'm going to play soccer in the house. So that this answer isn't a complete fail, I'll answer one of the BQs now. :)

    BQs ~

    7. I am a new owner of a Toshiba that is similar to this one; , and I like it since it's light-weight and any computer that doesn't delete words as I type them would be an upgrade to the one I had. The battery life is also incredibly compared to my last two. But, even with all these perks, I don't think it would be the best one on the market to recommend to a college student since Toshibas are infamous for overheating and I'm a bit wary of this one after Toshiba I died. (R.I.P) .... I like this laptop a *lot* but I probably wouldn't have selected it by myself. :) I think maybe you'd be better off with a Mac, although they really frustrate me and I can hardly use them.


    ~ Florence

    EDIT ~ I'm sorry for not answering this question yet!!!! I've officially mastered the art of procrastination, but after tomorrow's exam, I should have some more time to spend answering questions and relaxing without feeling so guilty. Btw, have you read 'Vanishing Acts', by Jodi Picoult? I've just started it and am only up to page 70, or something, but I'm liking it more than 'The Tenth Circle', but not as much as 'My Sister's Keeper'. Some of the paragraphs from the first few chapters reminded me of the recent question you asked about connecting scents to memories, actually. Even though these characters have flaws, I find them a lot more likeable than the ones in 'The Tenth Circle'. Wow, this is slowly becoming a book review, and not an answer. Reading is a hobby that I've sort of pushed aside for a while, and I'm glad that I'm slowly getting back into it. I've found that it's hard to find a book that captivates my interest long enough for me to get past page 20, but I'm working at it. It's for this reason that my answer will probably not include that many book characters, but more so from movies and television shows.

    *Drum roll for half of an answer, which sucks but needs to be completed so this interesting question won't be lonely*

    I believe Mr. Shuester from Glee would be a Mac kind of guy. I think he'd enjoy the garage band application and would still have the tools for all of his teaching necessities. He seems like an 'Apple' guy in general, really. He has a fresh and unique character. Kurt also seems like a Mac kind of guy. I can see Rachael and Quinn with pink or purple netbooks, and Puck with a solid, basic laptop that's been dropped around a few times but is still sturdy. Finn seems like someone who would just settle with an old, no-frills desktop. Kind of like the ones that my old health classroom had before they were finally replaced (Thank God for that!!).

    I can't imagine if Holden Caulfield was alive today, that he would be fond of technology. I think he'd be totally critical of social networking in particular, and be continuously picking fights on formspring. Myspace wouldn't be his cup of tea, either. He'd have a cheap, old laptop like my very first Acer, that took an hour to load a word document. He wouldn't have the patience, and would very quickly drop kick it out of the window, I assume.

    I love the answer above regarding Elizabeth Bennet, and Mr. Darcy : )

    Bonus Questions:

    1. What phone would the characters / historical figures use if they were alive today? For example, would Romeo and Juliet text each other from their iPhones?

    ~ As I stated above, Mr. Shuester and many of the other Glee cast members strike me as Apple kind of people, so I would imagine that an iPhone would be what they were after. I can imagine Kurt with a Blackberry, though. Holden would have one of those brick-like Nokia phones that are ancient. The kind with nothing on them except text messaging and that snake game. Yeah, I had that phone.

    2. What websites would they bookmark?

    ~ Obviously the Glee cast would favour sites like Reverb Nation and Last FM. I can't hear the music on the latter site because of copyright restrictions, but I love their 'Similar Artists' application. They'd be a regular iTunes user and would be continuously uploading Glee club videos onto youtube. Mr. Shuester is a top contributor in the singing section, you know.

    3. What image would they use for their desktop background?

    ~ Holden would just stick with the original one that it came from. He doesn't care much for the frivolous parts of technology and I don't think he could care less what his background would be.

    Rachael would have a stretched out photo of herself, Kurt would have his dream car.

    4. If they had an iPhone or another phone with apps, which ones would they use the most?

    ~ There's this new application for iPhones where you can take a Taylor Swift song and make it into a more urban track, and I think a few of the Glee cast members would have fun playing around with it.

    Youtube thumbnail

    I think Holden would like some of the classic book applications.

    5. What would their screen names and email addresses be?


    : ) haha

    6. If Leonardo Di Vinci invented his own brand of computers, what do you think he would call it?

    ~ I don't know! I like this question, and you should answer it in the additional details because I think your answers would be interesting!!

    **** I totally deserve the thumbs downs for taking so long to write out such a lousy answer. This week's been busy and different characters that I adore, like Brian Fitzgerald from My Sister's Keeper, kept popping into my mind for this question but they weren't appropriate and as clearly defined as others, so it was hard to answer. Maybe by the next time you ask a cool question, I'll have read more books so the answer will be approximately 24.6% better than this one.

    : ) Thanks for asking such an awesome question! It was really interesting (& I want your ideas for BQ 6!)

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  • 10 years ago

    Elizabeth Bennett would most definitely be a MacBook user. However, this could cause complications with Mr Darcy, who would like the design of the Mac, but would consider some of the other products made by Apple to be frivolous. Consequently, he would use a Dell. And for some reason, I think he would prefer a Blackberry to an iPhone.

    Jo March from Little Women would start off with a cheap, basic Acer but Fritz the Professor would eventually convince her to upgrade to a Mac. (Fritz himself would be a Mac person.)

    Charles Dickens would find his iPad to be a most useful invention.

    Virigina Woolf and Sylvia Plath would use iMacs.

    Anais Nin would own both a Mac and a PC. Which she used would depend on her mood.

    Bonus Questions:

    1. Romeo and Juliet would each be the heirs to rival cell phone companies. The designers from each company would come up with phones that could not receive calls or texts originating from phones manufactured by the rival company. Consequently, Romeo and Juliet have rather a lot of trouble phoning/texting one another.

    2. Dickens and Benjamin Franklin would bookmark all the news websites. Delores Haze from Lolita would bookmark myspace. Virginia Woolf would change her bookmarks regularly, depending on her mood.

    3. Dickens would have a picture of his sister-in-law, who died young and with whom he was secretly in love.

    4. Delores would use MySpace. Anais Nin would enjoy the blogger app and see it as an extension of her diary. Virginia Woolf would like the camera and taking photos, though she probably wouldn't want to be in the photos. Nor would she be interested in taking "happy snaps". She would catch people unaware and use it to study the human condition.

    5. Dickens:

    6. Curiosity.

    7. MacBook pro. Ideal for a college student.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Before they would call it all blasphemy, I believe a Mac.


    1. iPhone? Nooo. I was thinking like a Blackberry--with a full qwerty board ;)

    2. Romeo: free porn sites. And, Yahoo! Answers.

    3. Spongebob.

    4. Mustache-me (...I don't have an iPhone or the like so I just came up with that xD)

    5. Romeo's would be Big Pippin', and all the others something equally as retarded.

    6. Vinci. Simple, but memorable.

    7. A Dell Inspiron. And no, its horrible and a piece of junk. I did, however, buy mine right before they came out with Windows 7 (because that's how things work for me...). My sister shortly after went and bought the same computer (as she is a simple-minded college student) WITH Windows 7. It's perfect.

    Source(s): I hate my life.
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  • 10 years ago

    I sincerely doubt that the great literary figures would even care what type of computer they used. They would continue to be focused on their craft viewing the computer merely as a tool to facilitate its production. If there was an issue I think it would be Microsoft Word vs Corel WordPerfect. Personally I think they'd choose WordPerfect which can be run on either a Mac or PC

    Most of your bonus questions I simply find depressing. It's hard to imagine the great balcony scene with Romeo and Juliet texting each other.

    7. I use a very basic Gateway that has been dropped on the floor many times. It even has scaches on the top from sliding across the concrete floor of my garage. The pragmatist that I am I view it strictly as a tool to do my work except when I'm wasting time on here. As long as it is capable of running the latest version of Microsoft Office and an Internet browser I'm happy. The vast majority of people waste their money buying computers that are far more powerful than they need.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    I read this twice. The way you layer longer story-related prose is admirable, and something I have much trouble with. You make it seem effortless, natural, but all of us who write know the opposite is true. I often measure the effectiveness of a piece by the number of TD's........Jealousy rears it's green head. Kudos to you, Mr Carney.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago


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