Tuesday, 8 March 2016
Ladies in Literature
To jump on this bandwagon and add to the pro-women chatter that has filled the day, I thought I would talk about the wonderful fictional ladies that have graced our literature for hundreds of years.
I put the question of favourite females to a fabulous online book discussion group I am part of and there were some that stood out by cropping up frequently: Lizzie Bennett and Emma appeared a few times, famous through Jane Austen's wonderful writing. Harry Potter's best friend, Hermione was mentioned just the once (which surprised me as I thought the list would be flooded by her); Scout Finch was there a little bit as was Anne of Green Gables. But far and away the winners, being mentioned over and over again were Jane Eyre and Jo March (from Little Women).
Jo was one of the ones I put up too - she has been my hero since childhood.Obviously! A brunette with a terrible temper who loved writing, I thought Alcott had based her on me! I also love Skeeter from The Help. She is just so normal, trying to adapt her own character to please everyone around her, yet not being that successful because she was too passionate to let her own interests pass her by. Plus she was another writer. Apparently I feel affiliation with those. Surprise surprise.
What all these women have in common are what I like to call spunk. They flout the traditions of their time, are often outspoken and determined to get what they want. They are family orientated, have high morals and are undeniably kind hearted (a trait which is often overlooked in favour of others). But they refuse to be a pushover either and being mindful of people's feelings doesn't stop them from their own ambitions.
In short, these heroines are excellent examples of how we can live our own lives now.
Sure, we might have different aims to them. But never did any of those lovely ladies take their circumstances lying down, especially if it restricted them in any way. And that's a valuable lesson which every female author has tried to drum into us for centuries.
If you are unhappy about the way you live now, then change it. Or do your best to change it, it's as simple as that. There's no point in just moaning about it on Twitter or anywhere else. Take a leaf out of these heroines' books - try to create the world that you want to live in.
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