Jane Eyre of Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre was so much more than a love story. It is about the life of a determined and gentle woman who faced adversities yet never complained. First her traumatic childhood in which she was left an orphan, and bullied and ostracised by her relatives. She then faced extreme hardships at the school she was sent to and had to grow up very quickly and learn about life things a child should not have to endure. Despite this entry to adulthood, Jane Eyre wanted to be in control of her own life and was determined to make the best of it that she could. This persistent and strong-willed manner made me want to take every step of the way with her.
Jane Eyre would not accept being thought of or treated as second class because of her gender, nor because of her lack of wealth, position or her lower class in society. What Jane did have was education and she used that to her advantage and for the power that it truly is.
Hermione of the Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling
Growing up reading the Harry Potter books, Hermione was a character I always connected with. Bookish, ambitious, independent, frizzy hair, owning a cat – but to name a few of her characteristics that resonated with me. As a muggle born witch, she was every reader’s connection to what it would be like if that letter came delivered by an owl. Now in later life, I connect with that aspect in a different way. As a revert Muslim, like with being a muggle born, you find yourself in a world of cultures and norms that are completely unfamiliar to you and which you are now apart of – whether you are always readily accepted or not.
Hermione was the first female character (or any character) to my memory, who read a lot, cared about her education, was proud of it and did not give a monkeys whether this was cool or not. She was fiercely loyal and was there for her friends through the absolute worst of it all and never batted an eyelid or hesitated for a second.
These are my top two favourites, more to come… Who are your favourite female book characters? 🙂