These eight female characters come from very different time periods and walks of life but they all share the role of being a strong female lead. None of these women are the princess type who waits patiently to be rescued. They are not damsels in distress, fainting on the sidelines. Instead, they are women who took charge of their situation. And as it turns out, we could all learn a thing or two from these characters.
The Mulan who first made her appearance in a 6th Century poem was a tad different than the figure seen in the popular Disney animated film. In the poem, Mulan became unhappy as a weaver and instead took up martial arts and became a weapons expert. When the situation demanded it, Mulan stepped up and went to war in place of her father.
Elizabeth Bennett, Pride and Prejudice
Elizabeth never failed to express her opinion. She knew what she wanted, and sought to get her way. She let her voice be heard during a time when women had few, if any, rights. From Elizabeth, we learn we can have our own voices and still be loved.
Jo March, Little Women
One of the things that set Jo apart from the other female characters in this story was her fierce dedication to her family. Even when she had to cut off her hair to raise money, her family came first. When she finally does marry, it is to a man who she sees as her equal.
Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games series
Katniss is an independent, persistent, and selfless character. She remained loyal to her friends and family in a trying situation. In a brutal competition, she was a formidible competitor who did not give her heart away lightly. But when she did love, she loved with all her heart.
Hermione Granger, The Harry Potter series
Hermione was wickedly smart and wasn't afraid to show it. She always was her very best, and never felt the need to dumb herself down. In the end, she helped defeat the Dark Lord, got her man, and kept her brains all along the way.
Scarlett O'Hara, Gone with the Wind
Scarlett was a spoiled and self-centered sixteeen year old, but that all changed as she endured the Civil War. Scarlett is nothing if not a survivor, sometimes at all costs. She single handedly manages to keep the family home when other Georgia families are losing theirs.
Alice was curious and understood the value of letting her imagination run wild. She couldn't always see what was in front of her, but that didn't stop Alice from walking through mazes in order to find her own path.
Eliza Doolittle, My Fair Lady (Pygmalion)
Born a poor Cockney flower girl on the streets of London, Eliza is not afraid to reinvent herself when the situation calls for it. She goes from a frightened flower girl to a confident woman in this tale.
Strong female leads in literature can teach both us and our daughters to be secure in our own skins. These female characters are not afraid to be vulnerable and show their emotions. But when they find themselves in danger, they take charge of their situation and learn to write their own destinies.