So, a little break in our mini-series on Meiji era Japan.
I found this lovely literature blog last week called The Broke and the Bookish, and every Tuesday they have “Top Ten” list–from the Top Ten Books You Can’t Believe You’ve Never Read to the Top Ten Most Intimidating books. This week, it’s Top Ten Favorite Heroines and I simply had to participate. Here are my favorite literary heroines, some rather well known, others fairly obscure.
- Jane Eyre from, what else, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Simply my favorite heroine in all literature. She’s strong and courageous and I love how we see her grow from childhood to adulthood, and watch as she truly matures. And of course we can’t forget she’s independent too–a remarkable feat given she’s living in 1840s England. I think that’s why I like her so much; she’s not afraid of life. She just lives it.
- Elinor Dashwood, from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Seems like a bit of an opposite from Ms. Eyre, doesn’t she? Still, I like her, especially for her common sense and strength of understanding. How she can remain this way when her sisters and mother are completely over-the-top shows a quiet strength that I’m envious of.
- Elizabeth Bennet, from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Who doesn’t like Lizzie Bennet? Lizzie’s not afraid to speak her mind. I love her wit too–if only I could speak with such precise mental quickness; I too often think of good comebacks much later.
- Hermione Granger from all the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. Gotta love her ability to read and memorize encylopedias. 🙂 She’s also a strong and loyal friend, incredibly compassionate and protective, almost to a fault. She can be a little too bossy sometimes, but that flaw has helped her, Harry and Ron survive in many instances.
- Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hester manages to carve out a life for her and her daughter, despite being an outcast. She also refuses to give the name of her child’s father, showing how deeply she loves and cares for the man, despite what he’s put her through. Though she has her flaws, she’s remorseful for her actions and strives to give her daughter a decent life.
- Peony from Peony in Love by Lisa See. Peony has a very passionate nature, losing herself completely to emotion and love, something that was frowned upon in 17th century China, especially for women. She broke convention by meeting a man in her family’s garden during the opera The Peony Pavilion. Her passion was her downfall though and created much pain through the remainder of her “life”, yet this passion makes her one devoted individual.
- Anne Shirley from all of the Anne of Green Gables books by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Talkative, intelligent and a bit on the fiery side, Anne is truly a wonderful character. She has an incredibly vivid imagination–something I loved reading about when I was younger since I identified with it. She can be a little rash and stubborn but she’s also a devoted friend.
- Lucy Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Lucy’s the glue of the Pevensie children, in my opinion. She’s the one who first discovered Narnia (not counting Digory and Polly, who were there at is creation in The Magician’s Nephew) and the one who believes in it the most. She’s courageous and compassionate and has the ability to forgive easily, which is something that I wish I could do.
- Scout Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Even though she’s only six years old, she’s truly an awesome character. I love her tomboyish nature and her standing up for her father’s honor in the schoolyard. She’s a caring person and nearly fearless. She may be young but she’s a favorite.
- Jo March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. She’s incredibly outspoken, to a fault in many instances, but she’s also strong in that way as she’s willing to fight and not be passive about anything. She’s also willing to sacrifice for her family, like cutting off most of her hair to get a train ticket for her mother to visit their father.