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Sam Dobson Writes: Some Of My Favorite Literary Female Powerhouses

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Some Of My Favorite Literary Female Powerhouses

I've been reading the third and final installment in the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series. After getting through the slow and difficult starts of the first two books, I quickly became addicted and Lisbeth became my hero. I love reading novels with strong female leads. They boost my inner warrior goddess and for days I walk around imagining that I am one of them, just kicking ass everywhere I go. That's the beauty of reading; you get to be a different version of yourself, even if for a few moments and only in your mind. If you need a confidence or self esteem pick me up, just pick up one of these books for a lesson in becoming the badass female lead of your own story.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Trilogy)- Lisbeth Salander

Lisbeth has to be one of literatures most badass female characters. Lisbeth has been dealt a shitty hand her whole life. With the exception of a guardian who ends up hospitalized, the people responsible for her well being have let her down and even abused her time and time again. Lisbeth isn't one for self pity and wallow, instead she get's even. Lisbeth is incredibly intelligent despite the authority that says different. She does incredibly well for herself and kicks ass when danger presents itself. Lisbeth is truly a force to be reckoned with.

The Hunger Games (Trilogy)- Katniss Everdeen

One of my favorite heroines in all of literature is Katniss Everdeen. I know, I know, being an English Lit major, my favorite should be someone classic from the literary canon. I would be lying if I said otherwise. Unlike her young adult fiction distant cousin, Bella Swan, Katniss is no damsel in distress. Katniss hunts to feed her family, protects the people she loves, and takes down a corrupt government. While handsome boys sought after her, she can't be bothered with such things. She has more important things to worry about. To sum it up, she is just awesome.

Matilda- Matilda Wormwood

The youngest member of my badass female character list, Matilda doesn't let the unfortunate circumstance of crappy parents prevent her from following her dreams. At just five and half years old, Matilda reads through dozens of books and begs her deadbeat parents to let her go to school. Once in school, Matilda does her best to learn under the oppression of the cruel principle. Matilda is not only incredibly bright, but learns to control her psychokinetic powers so that she can stand up to her many bullies. Needless to say, I totally wished I had Matilda's psychokinetic abilities as a kid, then I'd rule the world...muhahaha!

The Scarlet Letter- Hester Prynne

Often seen as a victim of Puritan values, Hester is so much more than that. With a husband in Europe, Hester has a baby out of wedlock and faces the harsh criticism and public shaming with dignity and pride. A woman condemned by her community, Hester must wear an "A" for adulteror and face her vengeful husband. Hester does her best to not let the judgement and alienation affect the life of her daughter, Pearl. Hester is resilient, carries out her own punishment with poise, and never wavers as a good mother. If only she'd been born in the twentieth century, then Hester's story would be nothing special and instead of community exile she would only suffer mere gossip.

The Harry Potter Series- Hermione Granger

The brains of the Hogwarts trio, Hermione is not one to sit quietly in the back of the class. When the boys get in to trouble, Hermione is always there to back them up, cautioning them to think before acting. She's the brightest pupil in class and isn't afraid to show it. Despite being teased for her Mudblood background, Hermione doesn't let the opinions of others affect her self-worth. If I had a daughter, she would have no choice but to read the adventures of Hermione Granger over Bella Swan.

The Help- Skeeter, Aibileen, & Minny

I loved this book and the characters in it. Skeeter is a woman after my own heart, fresh out of college and seeking a writing career. She takes action, reaching out to a big publisher in New York and then takes an even bigger risk when she chooses to write a book shining light on the plight that still exists for African Americans in the 1960's. Her aide in this endeavor is Aibileen, a black maid helping raise her seventeenth white baby. Aibileen is the first person brave enough to help Skeeter with her novel. Aibileen is successful in convincing other maids to tell their stories too. The last maid to agree to contribute to the book is Minny. Minny only tells her shameful story because she knows it will protect her friends. Afterall, who would admit to eating a shit pie?!



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