Addicted to heroines

February 10, 2013

heroinesI’ve recently noticed that my favorite characters is popular fiction tend to be similar in a lot of ways.

1. They’re almost always women or girls.

2. They are usually the smartest characters.

3. They are highly capable.

4. They don’t really fit in / they aren’t popular.

5. They don’t care that they aren’t popular.

6. They challenge societal norms and follow their own paths.

7. They have their own personal belief system.

Lisbeth, Hermione (doesn’t follow #6 as well) and Arya generally fit these criteria. Dagny Taggart (Atlas Shrugged) is also a good example as she’s bright, capable, principled and liberated. Elizabeth Bennett (Pride & Prejudice) also fits this mold, as does Lyra Belacqua (The Golden Compass).

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3 Responses to “Addicted to heroines”

  1. Clair said

    I am on the same page! I was so excited to watch Brave, because I read that it is the first Disney film where the main female character didn’t fall in love (or need to be rescued by a guy). I’m not a big fan of his writing, but I also heard a quote attributed to George R.R. Martin…when asked why he wrote such strong female characters, he replied, “Because people are still asking me that question.”

  2. tonykulla said

    I enjoyed Brave too. A strong female lead plus bears makes for a good movie every time.

    I’ve read all five Song of Fire and Ice books, and I have mixed feelings about Martin’s writing. He’s telling a story in a complex unreal world that he makes feel real, much as Tolkien and Herbert (Dune) did. Where he falls short to me is in the lack of structure to the individual books; they feel like one meandering story rather than discrete novels. That said, I can’t wait for the sixth one.

  3. tonykulla said

    So I finally remembered to see if Lisbeth has become a popular baby name, and I was surprised to see that it hasn’t. It’s cracked the top 5000 girls names (way up from top 12000 five years ago) but I doubt it will become popular. Perhaps the nature of the character is the problem – I think people would rather their kid be “normal” and fit in than exceptional and “weird.”

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