Old Strength

I am reading two books right now, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Gone with the Wind. They are both famous for the strength and vitality of their protagonists, but it’s not Francie Nolan and Scarlett O’Hara that have me captivated.

Barbara O'Neil as Ellen O'Hara

I can’t stop thinking about their mothers. Katie Nolan and Ellen O’Hara have both stopped me in my tracks. They have a strength to them, but a strength unlike that of their daughters. There is this new, modern kind of strength that means independence, passion, stubbornness. But then there is an old kind of strength, exhibited by these mothers, that takes hard knocks (very hard knocks) and does not bend into bitterness or hatred.

I want to be like these women. I want to have dignity and grace, no matter what comes at me. I want to be patient, be able to keep my promises (especially the ones I make to myself), and forget all wrongs done to me. That, I think, would be strength.

Dorothy McGuire as Katie Nolan

Here are some other literary characters whose strength I admire:

Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice)
Anne Elliot (Persuasion)
Isabel Archer (Portrait of a Lady)
Lucy Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia)
Princess Flavia (The Prisoner of Zenda)

Who else do you think should be added to this list?

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About Aanna

I'm a writer and blogger who lives in southwest Missouri with my husband and daughter. I love to write about fashion, design, health, food, sex, relationships, and Jesus. You can e-mail me at aannagreer(at)gmail(dot)com.

3 thoughts on “Old Strength

  1. Great post, Aanna!

    I think Jane Eyre is one of my favorite literary strong women! I also like the little girl in The Little Princess. Oh, and Bella Swan (jk!)

  2. Jane Eyre should definitely be on that list. And how could I forget the little princess? I’ve also been thinking about strong literary men.

    Darcy, Ferrars, Knightley, Brandon, Wentworth, Martin: all exceptionally strong and enduring
    Ender Wiggin
    Odd Thomas
    Harry Potter (it makes me laugh a little to put him on the list, but I think he deserves the position)

  3. Harry Potter definitely deserves to be there!
    The whole host of LOTR characters could be there, too. Except Boromir and Denothor.
    I like The Scarlet Pimpernel as far as strong men go, and of course Atticus from To Kill a Mockingbird, and Hans Hubermann from The Book Thief.

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