What Makes a Heroine?
“Books! And cleverness! There are more important things – friendship and bravery.”
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling.
My favourite book character is Hermione Granger, a young witch at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She has many strengths and one of them is brains. When her friends are in trouble she always knows the right spells to save them from the mess they are in. Hermione is courageous and caring, but beneath it all is a small, fragile girl. You learn this early in the series where she is in the toilet, crying because fellow pupils Ron and Harry had been teasing her. This shows her vulnerability. A brave brainiac, she still gets bullied by other students at Hogwarts. Hermione is someone we can admire and relate to.
Another one of my favourite heroines is Valkyrie Cain from the Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy. She can push air, throw fire and even use the shadows to defend herself. She always kicks butt! Although she sounds cool, she is a complex character. While fighting on the good side with her partner Skulduggery Pleasant, there is a darker side to her which is revealed later in the storyline.
Then there is Annabeth Chase, a beautiful demigod from the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan. She is very smart because she is the daughter of the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena. Annabeth had a horrible childhood and ran away at an early age. She grows to become an excellent leader and a brilliant role model.
All of these characters have some kind of power or extraordinary ability. But is it possible to find an everyday heroine?
Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery is a kind but bad-tempered, red-headed orphan who gets adopted by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. They really want a boy to work on Green Gables farm but the orphanage slips up and gives them a girl. Anne had been raised with no manners yet is somehow able to charm the Cuthberts. She makes disastrous mistakes all the time, like when she accidently gives her best friend red wine instead of red cordial and sends her home drunk. At school, Anne is furious when she gets called, “Carrots” by a handsome young bloke named Gilbert Blythe, yet in time they become close friends. Anne grows up to be a compassionate young lady and teacher. After earning a scholarship she gives up her four year degree to teach in Avonlea and care for Marilla. Anne is a fine role model who makes a sacrifice for her family. Indeed, an everyday heroine.
Tell me, who is your favourite heroine?