1:34 pm - 12/27/2012

10 of the Most Powerful Female Characters in Literature

Jane Eyre Jane Eyre

One of the earliest representations of an individualistic, passionate and complex female character, Jane Eyre knocks our socks off. Though she suffers greatly, she always relies on herself to get back on her feet — no wilting damsel in distress here. As China Miévill wrote, “Charlotte Brontë’s heroine towers over those around her, morally, intellectually and aesthetically; she’s completely admirable and compelling. Never camp, despite her Gothic surrounds, she takes a scalpel to the skin of the every day.”

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adrogantia 27th-Dec-2012 07:28 pm (UTC)
Jo March, anyone???
__nocturna 27th-Dec-2012 07:33 pm (UTC)
ngl, I stopped reading Little Women series when I found out from somebody that she and whats-his-face wouldn't end up together. Their relationship was the only thing I found interesting in that book :|
veracity 27th-Dec-2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
Laurie? I think that was his name.
manaconda 27th-Dec-2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
ia. it felt like a personal betrayal when he ended up with amy and jo married some random german.
soul_amazinn 27th-Dec-2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
lol yeah. i was so enraged when they didn't end up together.
spankmypirate 27th-Dec-2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
Never forgave Alcott for that one. She just wanted to troll her fans because she was sick of getting letters asking her to let Jo and Laurie end up together.

handsdowntoo 27th-Dec-2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
This list isn't very good. But Jo was awesome.
another_grl 27th-Dec-2012 07:57 pm (UTC)
I love Jo
bohhead 28th-Dec-2012 01:28 am (UTC)
her breaking the news to laurie was the saddest thing i ever read, but it also made so much sense to me that after i read it i think i grew up so much.
but i hv to say her + fred was kinda weird. and now there are all these theories that she's supposedly a closeted lesbian who used the marriage as a sham to hide her ~trysts~ idek
h0tfuss 27th-Dec-2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised Nancy Drew isn't on this list.
my_drama_only 27th-Dec-2012 07:32 pm (UTC)
Eowyn FTW
childish 27th-Dec-2012 07:34 pm (UTC)
White girl parade?
roguewave3 27th-Dec-2012 08:25 pm (UTC)
ikr? rme at this list
nene718 27th-Dec-2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
no they're

wauwy 27th-Dec-2012 08:55 pm (UTC)
LOL jesus christ

soupdupcosmogrl 27th-Dec-2012 09:07 pm (UTC)

what the fuck is that
__nocturna 27th-Dec-2012 09:16 pm (UTC)
lmao omg
hisjulliet 27th-Dec-2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
saikaro_x 27th-Dec-2012 10:20 pm (UTC)
oh nooooo
bohhead 28th-Dec-2012 01:31 am (UTC)
ikr? i think they shld at least mention like the protagonist of 'breath eyes memory' or 'the color purple'. maybe even the ladies in 'the joy luck club' cuz errone loves joy n luck n all dat shiz.
squirrels_oh_no 27th-Dec-2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
I was taking a nap and woke up with the random China Mieville (misspelled) mention. That man is amazing. But now I got up so fast that my head is pounding.
manaconda 27th-Dec-2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
can anyone recommend some mindless f/f romantic fluff? something like love & loyalty. i'm kind of depressed rn and need something silly to read.
broadwaybabe11 30th-Dec-2012 02:35 am (UTC)
I just finished Annie on my Mind. It's YA coming out story. Don't know if thats what you're into, but it's cheesy and an easy read.
beaucadeau 27th-Dec-2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
Éowyn is my role model for life ngl.

And I know she's terrible in many ways, but Scarlett O'Hara is a great character.
megedeborch 27th-Dec-2012 08:13 pm (UTC)
Interesting choices. If they add Katness and such though, they could add one for the adult fantasy romance genre as well. They're pretty much all powerful heroines.
ugly_jacket 27th-Dec-2012 08:13 pm (UTC)
"we're just saying" "i'm just saying" is the laziest bs ever, that phrase needs to be cast off the fiscal cliff tbh
letitrainblue 27th-Dec-2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
ms. salander is perfect in every single way.
letitrainblue 27th-Dec-2012 08:20 pm (UTC)
also, most of the people i know didn't like the scarlett letter, but i loved it and i'm grinnin that hester's on the list
etoile_amore 27th-Dec-2012 08:19 pm (UTC)

dubiously 27th-Dec-2012 08:22 pm (UTC)
Kinda surprised by all the Éowyn love in the comments, by far my least fav female character in the books. *kanye shrug*
ava_adore0 27th-Dec-2012 08:29 pm (UTC)
Same tbh. The movie saved her though, I loved movie Eowyn.
Book Eowyn did everything because she wanted a husband and went to war to die b/c Aragorn didn't love her. Then as soon as Faramir offered to marry her she basically vowed to never leave the house again. Her story was all kinds of fucked up.
adlanth 27th-Dec-2012 08:55 pm (UTC)
What? No.
She is fucked up in some ways, yes, and she is suicidal, but it's not because she couldn't find a husband. It's because she's on her own, caring for her uncle alone while her brother can ride off and be heroic in the only way that she's been told is worth anything. ("‘Shall I always be chosen?’ she said bitterly. ‘Shall I always be left behind when the Riders depart, to mind the house while they win renown, and find food and beds when they return?’ (...) ‘All your words are but to say: you are a woman, and your part is in the house. But when the men have died in battle and honour, you have leave to be burned in the house, for the men will need it no more. But I am of the House of Eorl and not a serving-woman. I can ride and wield blade, and I do not fear either pain or death.’" ----> what does that have to do with 'waaaah I want a husband'?)
Even her love for Aragorn has a lot to do with her thinking him a way to get out of home and going off into battle. Even Aragorn says at one point that "in me she loves only a shadow and a thought: a hope of glory and great deeds, and lands far from the fields of Rohan."
If anything movie!Eowyn was worse than book!Eowyn in that respect, since they played up Eowyn's infatuation for Aragorn, without including that passage from the book where Aragorn and Gandalf explain to a (clueless) Eomer that his sister was hugely unhappy long before she met Aragorn and that her love for him wasn't all that anyway.
And after she falls in love with Faramir she doesn't say she won't ever leave the house, she says that she won't be a fighter anymore (which is just as well since the war of the Ring is over at this point) but a healer.

Aaaand I'm sure this is going to be a big tl:dr wall of text but no.

Edited at 2012-12-27 08:56 pm (UTC)
__nocturna 27th-Dec-2012 09:18 pm (UTC)
I was indifferent towards her
sapphirespells 27th-Dec-2012 08:24 pm (UTC)
Nice list, tbh. I've never read North and South but I've seen the miniseries and Margaret Hale was pretty powerful and badass.

Edited at 2012-12-27 08:25 pm (UTC)
hypermuseic9 28th-Dec-2012 07:49 am (UTC)
yass to margaret. she was flawless in N&S
sapphirespells 28th-Dec-2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
your icon= my body is ready.
nene718 27th-Dec-2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
buncha white wimmen. no surprise.
georgeslymaniv 27th-Dec-2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
Uh, does nobody care about how they treated Bertha in Jane Eyre? Fuck that shit.
soupdupcosmogrl 27th-Dec-2012 09:11 pm (UTC)
You would've loved when my women writers prof covered it! That's all we focused on. Rare treatment, which is why I'm glad we didn't read it in high school with a ~omg quaint but skurry Victorian novel~ gloss over it.
johnjie 28th-Dec-2012 02:27 am (UTC)
Wide Sargasso Sea is one of my favourite novels because of how it addresses this
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