I have a few favorite literary fictional heroines:  

  • Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice;
  • Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre; and
  • Dolores Price from She’s Come Undone

What makes them so special?  Why am I drawn to them?  Why do I respect them? I’ve been wondering what it is that makes their character so likable.

What impresses me the most, I’ve concluded, is the fact that they each have the courage to speak up for themselves.  They share the common thread of telling it like it is; no matter the cost.

I posed the question (“Who is your favorite fictional heroine?”) to a few friends.  Here’s how they responded:

*   *   *  

  • Jody:  I think mine might be Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird.  
  • Erin:  Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair (Thackeray), Lisbeth Salander from the Dragon Tattoo (crappy books, compelling character) and Helena (much ado).  Also, Imogene Hurdman from the Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  Those are the first that come to mind.
  • Blair:  Nothing so lofty I am afraid, Rebecca Bloomwood, Bridget Jones and Jennifer Cavalleri
  • Jennifer:  Nice choices! I liked She’s Come Undone, even though reading the book made me feel ill at certain parts. Such a story.  My fave will always be Elizabeth Bennet, because she says what she wants and doesn’t care what society thinks of her. I also like Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, who was strong and brave and loved her family. I also like Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, who never forgot her manors even in the strangest of places, and Jadis, The White Witch who ruled Narnia with a frosty fist.
  • Jasmine:  Elizabeth Bennett, Harriet Vane, Miss Climpson,  Jo from Little Women, Imogen Quy from the detective series by Jill Paton Walsh. …. I could go on but that’s enough for now surely!
  • Janice:  Elizabeth Bennet is one of my favorites too — but then again, so is Jo from Little Women and, of course, Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind.  Do we see a pattern here?
I wonder.  Do we see a pattern?   Do you have a favorite?
If so, what is it that makes her so compelling?
* * *

2 thoughts on “Heroines

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