Thursday, March 21, 2013

Why I Love Jem Carstairs

Definition of Jem Carstairs: a talented and handsome young gentleman whose loyalty and love for his family knows no bounds.

This immaculate literary man is perhaps the most beloved character in my reading repertoire. There are several factors that contribute to this unfair favoritism, and they all strike a different chord. Jem Carstairs make me dream of a time when chivalry was not dead. I literally hang off of his every word.

One of the first things that emotionally ties me to Jem is his talent and love for music. I cannot claim to play the violin (though it is a lovely instrument), but I can relate to the passion and enjoyment that comes from creating music. Some of you may know that I play the flute in my high school band. It’s not an understatement to say that music is my life. Music provides an escape for the maker; "getting lost in the music" is not a phrase to be taken lightly. I can appreciate and connect with Jem on this level. I imagine him using his violin to escape the pain that follows him everyday–physical and emotional. Forgetting your problems is too easy when you’re devoting everything you have into the task you are performing. In this way, Jem Carstairs is the strongest person I know–real and not real.

Jem’s manners are yet another lovely quality of his. He is polite, kind, and gentle; everything good rolled up into one. I love how he treats everyone he meets with the same level of respect, be it Shadowhunter or Downworlder, man or woman, master or servant. You can always count on him; even if you screw up or hurt him, Jem will give you a second chance. Will sees this forgiving side of Jem on more than one occasion.

Jem’s relationship with Will, his best friend and parabatai, is one of those heart-wrenching chords I previously mentioned. Those two! By the Angel, those two boys kill me. Apart they’re adorable; together they’re even worse. Their bond goes way deeper than brotherhood; they would literally die for each other. The relationship is admirable and charming. It makes me wish that I was a Shadowhunter, just so I could experience that bond. I love how they accept each other, the good and the bad. It’s like Jem and Will are caught up in their own little world, just the two of them, and they’re oblivious to everything outside of each other. I can’t imagine them apart. They’re brothers in the truest sense, and I would be distraught if anything ever came between them.

I know that Jem is destined for a terrible fate and that he is most likely going to die from his illness, but Jem Carstairs would not be the man that he is without this death sentence. He appreciates life and lives to his fullest. Jem takes nothing for granted and knows that he doesn’t have time for regrets. I think that is why he comes off as so perfect; Jem doesn’t have the time to be anything less than that. And every time Jem mentions his disease and inevitable fate, I die. My heart goes out to him; I can’t imagine myself or the other characters carrying on without him.

Jem Carstairs has completely changed my standards of reading. All other characters and books pale in comparison. I can only hope and pray that the attributes I love about him don’t fade away–specifically Will Herondale. I’ll love Jem no matter what happens, forever and always.

A Few Jem Quotes:

"If it concerns Will, it concerns me." — Clockwork Angel, "Chapter 9: The Enclave"
"Oh, I don't know. I prefer to think that when they're at home, the Silent Brothers are much like us. Playing practical jokes in the Silent City, making toasted cheese—" — Clockwork Prince, "Chapter 2: Reparations"
"If I was harsh with you, it was because I cannot bear to see you treat yourself as if you are worth nothing. Whatever part you might act to the contrary, I see you as you really are, my blood brother. Not just better than you pretend to be, but better than most people could hope to be." — Clockwork Prince, "Chapter 21: Coals of Fire"


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! I love picturing literary characters in my mind and then putting it on paper. :)

  2. Jem sounds like a fabulous character. I haven't read this series yet, but I've heard fabulous things about it.

    I always wanted to play the violin, but unfortunately I didn't ever get to play it, I ended up with the flute. However music is a great way to express yourself and get lost so I'd be interested in reading how that fits into things.

    Definitely can see that you love this series so much and fabulous week event! :)

    1. Jem is amazing! I've also had the passing thought of picking up the violin, but I'm happy with the flute. I hope you get a chance to read the series soon!

  3. Well, I'll admit that I am a lover of Mr. Will Herondale. But, Jem's appeal can't be ignored. He is such a gentleman and so selfless. Clare has come up with one hell of a character here.

    1. All of Clare's characters are lovable! Part of the reason I love Jem so much is because of Will, so in a weird way I love Will just as much.


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