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Question: Don Quixote was inspired by a real figure.
Answer: Miguel de Cervantes’s grandfather had a brother named Alonso Quixado, a book-loving Catholic monk who was very fond of tales of chivalry. Cervantes based the character of Don Quixote on him.
Question: In Fahrenheit 451, Montag is not married.
Answer: Guy Montag, the firefighter hero of Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451, is married to a woman named Mildred.
Question: Rip Van Winkle lived in the Rocky Mountains.
Answer: The fictional Rip Van Winkle lived in the Catskill Mountains, in the state of New York. The story’s author, Washington Irving, lived there for many years.
Question: In Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women, the main character, Jo, is the oldest of four sisters.
Answer: Jo March is the second oldest of four sisters. The oldest is Meg, and the younger sisters are Beth and Amy.
Question: In Where the Wild Things Are, the main character, Max, becomes King of the Wild Things.
Answer: In Maurice Sendak’s beloved novel, the Wild Things "roar their terrible roars" at Max, but Max charms them, and soon after they make him King of the Wild Things.
Question: Scheherazade is a character in The Thousand and One Nights.
Answer: In The Thousand and One Nights, Scheherazade is a queen who, condemned by her husband to die at dawn, wins her life by telling stories so exciting that he cannot bear to have her killed.
Question: Frankenstein is the name of a famous fictional scientist.
Answer: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has terrified readers for nearly 200 years. The name "Frankenstein" is, alas, often erroneously associated with the monster, rather than with the doctor who created him.
Question: Harry Potter’s Quidditch broom was a Nimbus 2000.
Answer: Nimbus Racing Broom Company’s Nimbus 2000 was the fastest broomstick in production until the release of the Nimbus 2001.
Don Quixote (right) and his servant Sancho Panza are pictured in an illustration from the book Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes. The illustration appeared in an edition of the book that was published in the 1800s.

Literary Characters: Fact or Fiction?

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