In the world of literature, female book characters have always had their place.
Female lead characters have gained prominence over the years, and it’s understandable, especially since female empowerment has grown so much. Even back in the day, female characters have always been well-represented, in spite of the different circumstances of their time and setting. The tradition of creating strong female characters continues today.
And why wouldn’t it? The fact is that we know for certain female characters continually develop and authors can create complex personalities within them. There’s just no other way of putting it: women in literature are here to stay. We believe that’s a good thing, especially since female characters have been known in many works as plot devices with little complexity.
Here we have a list of the strongest and perhaps most influential female book characters in history. If you want to add more from books with strong female characters, then feel free to do so!
1. Lizzie Bennett, Pride and Prejudice
Lizzie breaks the stereotype of her time. She opposes the status quo in a world where women had to marry just to get somewhere in life. She is incredibly assertive, especially in speaking her mind, and refuses to be silenced, even as those like her were required to be submissive. Lizzie Bennett is a character who’s truly ahead of her time.
2. Matilda, Matilda
Having been raised in a neglectful household, Matilda turns to her own means to cope by reading books and teaching herself telekinesis. She uses her new found abilities to mess with people around her, specifically those who deserve it. In the end, she gets the life she’s dreamed of, attaining happiness, in spite of all the neglect. Although she may seem antagonistic to many, Matilda is genuinely kind and caring—and it shows, based on how she sees the world in positive light.
3. Jo March, Little Women
Those who are familiar with Little Women will surely know Jo, the tomboyish and driven member of the cast. Everyone who’s read the book knows how intelligent Jo is, albeit she can be impulsive at times. She’s an incredibly complex character who isn’t dictated by the norms of her time, making her own decisions and standing by them. Jo isn’t one to be dictated by just about anyone out there!
4. Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games Trilogy
The Hunger Games’ main character, Katniss Everdeen, is one of the more iconic figures in pre-teen literature. We can all see the appeal, as she’s a fierce and determined character, willing to go against authority and breaking conventions just to save the people around her. A skilled archer in many ways, Katniss is not someone to be taken lightly.
5. Hermione Granger, Harry Potter Series
Witty, intelligent, and rational, Hermione Granger is another icon in pre-teen literature, among well-known female character names. Known to Harry Potter fans as a somewhat sarcastic yet genuinely caring girl book character, Hermione completes the cast, as she brings life to the already endearing ensemble that makes up the world that J.K. Rowling created.
As times change, authors will come to realize how they can shape and empower women by avoiding the usual trope for female novel characters in literature. The only thing that will change is how society views females according to the way writers develop them into more complex characters.
That being said, female characters have become a mainstay, and will continue to linger as time goes by. You’ll find that these female characters not only influence women—young and old—all throughout, but also everyone around the world. Remember: they aren’t just books book characters for girls.