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.
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.
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?