I'd forgotten that not all victories are about saving the universe. --RoryOne of the main characters mentioned this in the latest episode, and it really struck a chord with me. It got me thinking about the things I find most memorable in books.
And it's not the big battle at the end. It's not slaying the dragon, or throwing the ring in Mordor, or defeating Voldemort.
It's the small things.
I felt more triumph, as a reader, when the father and son share a Coke in Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD, than at any other moment in the book. Such a small detail--a small victory--but a meaningful one. Harry's confession of love for Ginny--an action that terrified him--made me cheer more than his triumph over Voldemort. When Tris jumped onto the train for the first time, my heart was racing more than when she started the revolution in DIVERGENT.
I'm not sure why the little battles are sometimes so much more important to me than the big ones. Perhaps it's because I've got a fairly certain idea that the hero will win the big fight--but it's never for sure he'll win all the little ones. Or perhaps it has more to do with the fact that I will face the little battles myself much more than the big ones. I've felt the fear of confessing love, the desire to have something rare, the decision to do something stupid and dangerous just because I could. Maybe it's the little battles that remind me of me.