Age of the Heroine

When I think of a hero, I think of noble actions, self-sacrifice, honor, physical suffering and overcoming obstacles.

Recently, in a post by A.R. West “The in crowd of characters“, he mentions the title character from my first novel, Josephine: Red Dirt and Whiskey and that he thinks of her as a heroine.

This certainly caught my attention as this is not how I would classify her, but I am open to that interpretation.

Thinking of her in these terms has opened up my train of thought to characters I would consider to be heroines in different works of literature.

Because I am a Southern Historical Fiction writer at heart, the ladies who pop into my mind, of course, are from primarily southern stories:

Scarlett O’Hara – Gone with the Wind. She is first in my mind. She was the first female character that I was impressed with that she was strong and resilient. Stubborn, yes, missed the boat with Rhett, of course, but I think she is a fabulous character.

Edna Pontellier – from Chopin’s “The Awakening”. I love her, and while I always flinch when I read the ending, I don’t know how it could have ended any other way.

Scout Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird. I wanted to be her when I was a kid. I read this novel as a child, then again as a teenager (several times, actually) and then usually every other year I read through this novel. Harper Lee was brilliant, and I wish she had written more characters for me to love!

While not a southern story or a southern writer, Hester Prynne makes my list in Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”.

Interestingly, I don’t have a heroine from Faulkner’s writing.

Who are your favorite female heroines from literature?

Do you look for different characteristics in heroines than you do in heroes in literature?

And, I wanted to post a quick note that Robyn Leatherman will be interviewing me on her blog on Jan. 20. I am thrilled to spend that time with her and hope you all will hop on over, read her blog and find out more about me and her – she is such an interesting person and writer!


































About melindamcguirewrites

The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. ------ William Faulkner, Nobel Prize Speech, Stockholm, 1950
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3 Responses to Age of the Heroine

  1. DM says:

    I think my favorite heroine is Hermine Granger from HP series. Scarlett O’Hara is too, only because of her determination to survive.

  2. A.R.West says:

    I see the forest and overlook the trees. I read all the time and the heroine is the main stay of modern writing, but I fail to pull out the exceptional ones. I think Stephanie Plum should be mentioned due to her popularity and heroinism. She is funny, smart, horny, naive and entertaining. I read these to gleen sexy writing from Evanovich or attempt at least. She writes a latent sexuality that is inspired. It is not smut and sex rarely happens, but it is charged work.
    Junie B. Jones is rocking the elementaries. I never read it, but the eat, pray, love woman is prominant or at least her ideas. If your not picky about species, I think the elepant in “Water for elepants” was a heroine. I express after reading the book. I never saw the movie.
    I will not give any plot away in “Red dirt and Whiskey” , but the heroines handling once she understands what had occured seems heroic at least to me. I hope for another in the series.

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