April Classic Club Meme Question

Thursday, April 11, 2013



“Who is hands-down the best literary hero, in your opinion? Likewise, who is the best heroine?”

My two choices for literary hero are Atticus Finch and Gandalf. The first is the lawyer from the beloved novel To Kill a Mockingbird. He is a man of quiet strength. Not only is Atticus willing to stand up for those without a voice, he is also a wonderful father and the best shot in town! He defends Tom Robbins when no one else will take his case. He accepts bartered farm goods when his neighbors can’t pay for his services. He teaches his children that being kind to others is a way of life. You maintain that kindness even in the face of adversity. From a poor school boy to an elderly opium addict, he supports the people around him with unconditional respect and generosity. He is the ultimate hero.

Gandalf, the wizard from The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, is hero in a more traditional sense. He is mysterious and powerful. He always appears when he is most needed. He is wise and kind, but he is also incredibly brave and willing to sacrifice himself for others.

The first of the two that tie for the spot of literary heroine is Hermione Granger. That girl is so strong and clever; Ron and Harry never would have made it to the seventh book without her! She helped them through the obstacles protecting the Sorcerer’s Stone in the first book, discovered the secret of the basilisk in the second book. In the third book she gets a time turner and what does she use it for through out the book… LEARNING! The fourth book, she continuously works to help Harry figure out his clues for the Tri-Wizard tournament, the fifth has her fighting Death Eaters along-side of her friends and encouraging Harry to start Dumbledore’s Army. In the seventh book she packs all of their belongings into a tiny clutch that she carries with them to the wedding. She’s always prepared! She is willing to leave her parents and give up her safety to travel with Harry and Ron in the wilderness and try to find horcruxes. She is brave and brilliant. She never dumbs herself down to fit in and her constant encouragement keeps Ron and Harry on track.

Now for a more traditional Classics choice, Marmee March is a minor character in Little Women, but her influence is seen throughout the book in the decisions her daughters make. She raises the four girls by herself for years while her husband is fighting in the Civil War. His bad financial decisions left them poor, but Marmee makes due and teaches her girls that wealth is not nearly as important as kindness. Even when they have barely anything Marmee still gives her time to those who are less fortunate than themselves. Marmee also encourages her daughters to follow their own dreams. When Meg wants to marry, Marmee only tells her to wait a few years so that they have time to mature first. She lets Jo travel to New York by herself to live in a boarding house and pursue her writing career. Marmee knows that Jo struggles with her temper and to help her cope with that she explains her own fiery temperament to Jo so she could understand she wasn’t alone.


17 comments:

Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader said...

That's a difficult question to answer. The first character that popped into my head for favourite literary heroine was Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables books, but then I see you've included Hermoine Granger as one of your choices and I think she is also a great pick. Both Anne and Hermione are smart, strong and capable of doing anything they put their mind to.

My choice for hero would have to be Jon Snow from George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. He's my favourite character in the series. He always tries to do what he feels is right, even if it puts his own life in jeopardy. But he is not without flaws, which makes readers able to relate to him.

Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader said...

Atticus Finch would absolutely be my answer to this question. Sigh..that guy ;)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Melissa - Anne is a wonderful one! I actually thought about her for this. I haven't read Martin's books, but I finally caved and watched the Game of Thrones show. Jon Snow is a great character and I bet he's even better in the books (they always are)!

Jennifer - Seriously, he is the best.

Kimberly Hawks said...

I totally agree with Atticus. I love to read that book partly because of him and Marmee is such an amazing woman...she makes me want to be like her ever time I read that book!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kimberly - The thing I always loved about Marmee is that she raised 4 very different girls and encouraged each one to be their own person. That takes a special kind of strength.

CaRiiToO said...

I know it's not related, but Marmee has always been an amazing character for me, she represents what a mother is, and after my parents divorce and discovering my mother just cared about money and not her children, I wish Marmee could hug me...
Sorry to use this to rant about my sadness...

mercury said...

I'm struggling on how to answer this question myself. Keep changing my mind. Attic us is a great choice. Marmee? Not for me sorry, I can't stand LW.

Captain Nick Sparrow said...

Great list!!!

Sarah said...

Atticus is such a great choice!! Why do I always forget about TKAM?

And yay for Hermione! :-)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

CaRiiToO - I'm sorry you had to go through that. Books can be such a wonderful solace in tough times.

mercury - Different strokes for different folks, I love Little Women!

Sarah - He always come to mind when I think of a true hero.

Fanda said...

Can't agree more with Atticus Finch. And you made me want to reread To Kill A Mockingbird now...

Melisa said...

Excellent choices! I love Atticus Finch and Hermione Granger. Too bad I haven't read The Lord of the Rings (only watched the movie) and Little Women.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Fanda - I want to reread it too, it's such a great book!

Melisa - You should definitely read Little Women! LOTR isn't for everyone and it's huge.

Rachel Bradford said...

Haha. I hadn't even considered characters from LOTR - I really ought to have. But on the other hand, the answer to the hero question was quite clear to me. It was the heroine question that stumped me. I DID consider Hermione, but I decided to go for resonating rather than clever and fun. :)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Rachel Bradford - You had some great choices! Jean Valjean is definitely a hero.

Brona Joy said...

You just picked my two favourite literary parents...and I guess we all wish or believe that our parents are our heroes.
Nice choices :-)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Brona Joy - What a sweet thought. It hadn't even occured to me that I look to parents as the picture of what a hero should be.