03 January 2011

Women in Literature

Hi! I'm Emily, and I think that the "We Are Women" project is so great. 
I usually blog over at emilymcb.blogspot.com, but I'll be guest posting here for awhile!

I loooove books. I especially love books featuring strong heroines.

Here are a few of my favorite leading ladies.
(Yes, they are sort of cliché. But, I think they're sort of cliché for good reason.)

Elizabeth Bennet (Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice)

Elizabeth is confident, smart, independent, and she has incredible self-worth. She doesn't follow the silly examples of her mother or her sisters. By turning down two engagements, she shows that she'd rather be alone for the rest of her life than married to someone she doesn't love—a pretty innovative idea for her time. 

Jo March (Louisa May Alcott's Little Women)
Jo is smart, independent, and incredibly loving. She sells her hair (her "one beauty") to help her family. She moves to New York, all on her own, to chase her dream of being a great writer. She is out to achieve her dreams, no matter what other people think.

Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre
Jane had a really tough life, but she never let that be a reason to give up. She supports herself as a governess, and then runs from the only man she has ever loved (and thinks she will ever love) because of her morality and integrity. 

Honorable Mentions
Skeeter (The Help)
Esther (The Old Testament)
Katniss (The Hunger Games)
Hermione (Harry Potter)
Antonia (My Antonia)
Margaret (North and South)
Anne (Anne of Green Gables)

Who are your favorite literary heroines?


joojierose said...

yay! love this post. isabel archer in henry james' 'portrait of a lady' is incredible. she has deep flaws, but don't we all? it's why i love her so.

Charlotte said...

I love this! Anne from AoGG is definitely one of my favorites. Of all time. One of my other favorites is Anna Karenina, a very non-traditional choice. I think she's beautiful in all of her anti-heroine-ness. Complex, conflicted, unhappy, bound by social conventions. While not necessarily a strong or morally admirable character, I find her raw human-ness compelling.