Through the years, literature has consistently introduced us to fearless female characters. Sometimes, it’s the actions of these characters that make them unforgettable. At other times, it may be their endearing personality traits that grab our attention.
In the spirit of Women’s History Month, here are 7 such characters who are still favorites among many readers, in no particular order.
1. Jane Eyre *** Novel: Jane Eyre *** Author: Charlotte Brontë
In the classic novel, Jane Eyre is the protagonist who portrays a rebellious character yearning for acceptance. She struggles throughout her childhood, but manages to prevail. Jane maintains her moral principles and beliefs while demanding her independence.
2. Liesel Meminger *** Novel: The Book Thief *** Author: Markus Zusak
Liesel defies the status quo of being illiterate during the World War II era. She is the “book thief” with a determination to learn how to read, write and understand the power of words. While living through much destruction, Liesel establishes her own destiny and captures the hearts of those around her.
3. Lucie Manette *** Novel: A Tale of Two Cities *** Author: Charles Dickens
We all remember the classic – A Tale of Two Cities. The novel reflects good and evil as symbols, which are also referenced as light and darkness. Lucie is the light. She maintains a significant role in the story as one who holds nearly every character in the book together. Through her actions and influence, Lucie is a virtuous woman who inspires great love and loyalty on other characters.
4. Dominique Francon *** Novel: The Fountainhead *** Author: Ayn Rand
Pessimistic and independent best describe Dominique Francon. While Dominique is not the main character in The Fountainhead, her beliefs about humanity are highly noticeable. Her pessimism casts a doubtful view about men and society. But over time, she softens, acquires a better perspective and finds love.
5. Janie Crawford *** Novel: Their Eyes Were Watching God *** Author: Zora Neale Hurston
Janie is a character of mixed ancestry and often categorized by gender stereotypes. But she defies those stereotypes and insists on being independent. She discovers who she is and takes control of her own destiny.
6. Scarlett O’Hara *** Novel: Gone With The Wind *** Author: Margaret Mitchell
Gone With The Wind is another classic novel with Scarlett O’Hara as a flawed and unlikeable character. But despite what others think about her, she becomes a survivor. She prevails against the odds and is determined to achieve her desires.
7. Aibeleen Clark *** Novel: The Help *** Author: Kathryn Stockett
In Stockett’s debut novel, Aibeleen Clark is a stand-out character. Through her courage and determination, she triumphs in the face of adversity. In her own way, Aibeleen manages to ignore the stereotypes and sets an example for others to follow.
This is only a short list of memorable female characters in literature and so many more can be added. What other unforgettable female characters stick out in your mind?