I’ve had a number of comments and reviews on my novel Hellfire which mentioned the female lead, Dee Jones. Dee is tough, smart, and capable I made her that way on purpose. I made her that way for a reason.
Literature has a wide-range of strong female protagonists who take charge, stand up for what they believe, and achieve their end goal. The women in these books become role models for people, female and male, around the world and expand traditional patriarchal roles.
In Pride & Prejudice, Lizzie Bennet is a strong, intelligent woman who goes after what she wants. Her goal is to marry for love and not money. She is a loveable character who even Jane Austen admired by calling her “delightful.” She is often embarrassed by the habits of her mother and sisters and inspires readers to be more like her. The story is about how Lizzie and the man she loves Darcy, end up overcoming adversity to experience love. Despite the challenges she faces she’s able to persevere through it all to get what she wants – love.
In Harry Potter, Hermoine Granger is a role model to many readers due to her intelligence, willingness to help others and bravery. There is nothing that she wouldn’t do to help her friends. Her character is realistic, and represents what growing up is like. Readers growing up with the Harry Potter series were able to relate to her character in a meaningful way. She is very self-aware, always knowing what she’s fighting for and she doesn’t quit until she’s achieved her goal. She doesn’t compromise who she is to please someone else.
In The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen is a strong female who must overcome countless challenges just to survive. While her sister was actually enlisted in the Hunger Games, she took her place instead to protect her. She knows how to use a bow and arrow, which she learned on her own. She may not be as book smart as the other female characters but she has street smarts that help her survive. She does whatever it takes to survive and reach her end goal – live.
In my next novel Tweet Revenge, a serial killer called Justice uses social media to taunt authorities. The protagonist, Dawn Johnson, is an African American FBI Agent. She joined the Bureau because her father, who was also an FBI Agent, had disappeared and was presumed dead during an undercover assignment. Dawn is a strong, confident woman with a bit of an attitude. She must overcome obstacles of prejudice and distrust to find the serial killer.
Who are your favorite strong female protagonists in novels?