This week, the question comes from Rebecca, who asks:
Who do you guys think is the ultimate fictional heroine of all time? Why? What makes them stand out from all the others? Was there ever a time you wish you could be them?
Gosh, that’s such a tough call. I know there’s somebody totally epic that I’m not going to be able to think of, but honestly the first person who popped in my head is Lyra from the Golden Compass. She’s special not only because of fate but because of who she is as a person. She’s not overly beautiful, and she certainly isn’t politically correct or polite all the time, but she’s fiercely loyal, incredibly brave, and truly kind. She goes on a multi-world adventure to save all worlds, and sacrifices her own happiness for the benefit of others. She even voluntarily splits her soul in order to save her friend, for goodness sakes! Lyra shows how ‘ordinary’ people can have the spunk to get the job done by being true to themselves.
(At this point, Kat and Vanessa both sputtered and cried things like WHAT? You totally stole my answer!! Eventually, they got ahold of themselves enough to write their own responses)
Lyra was the first heroine I really, really identified with. Which is funny because our personalities are completely different. As a kid, I was quiet, a total bookworm, and not the least bit sharp-tongued. The closest thing Lyra and I had in common was probably our affinity to playing in the mud. (Don’t ask)
But her fierceness (“fierce” is really just the perfect word to describe Lyra) endeared her to me so much. I remember reading THE GOLDEN COMPASS and thinking “This is it. This is the essence of childhood and growing up. This is how I see the world and adults.” Yes, I was a strange, strange kid.
I loved how everything about Lyra was so passionate–so exuberant. She held nothing back. She was so confident but vulnerable at the same time. I felt everything she went through. I understood how she felt, why she felt it.
I could go on and on… I wish for the day I can write a character that strikes someone’s heart like Lyra did mine.
I could further explain myself, but I’d just be repeating what Savannah and Kat have already said.
I think my choice has to be Ronia from Ronia the Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren. When I read the book, I truly wanted to be Ronia. (I would still take the opportunity if it were offered to me!) Ronia is full of life and takes wild chances and is willing to make incredible sacrifices to live according to her principles. She loves her family and her friends and lives in a fantastic world. She plays along the river bank, spends all day in the forest (even in the dead of winter) and hides out in a cave. She is heroic and brave and the literary heroine whom I would most like to be.
I’m gonna vote for Scarlett O’Hara from GONE WITH THE WIND. She’s a fantastic heroine because she’s far from perfect: she’s manipulative and vain and willing to do anything to get what she wants, even if it means destroying people’s lives. But she’s also brave, and her fierce determination gets her family through the Civil War and its horrible aftermath. Not to mention, she’s a bit of a fashionista, and her passion for clothing and need to look fantastic lead to some pretty hilarious scenarios. Her development over the course of the novel is beautifully plotted by Margaret Mitchell, but the novel finishes with Scarlett still far from perfect. It makes her human–it makes her relatable, despite her many faults. It’s Scarlett–not the plot–that keeps me returning again and again to GONE WITH THE WIND.