Heroes and….Heroines?

This week we are discussing our favorite literary heroes and heroines… do we use the word “heroine” anymore? Is it considered sexist, like “poetess”, “authoress” and “actress”? It’s ironic, really, that it was ever used because “Hero” in mythology was, in fact, a woman.

But, I digress. It’s been a hard couple of weeks for me. Although I read a great deal, I was  stumped to think of real “heroes”.

I cast my mind far in my past to begin.
The first idea that came to mind is “heartthrob”, and I have to admit that Andre Bolkonsky in “War and Peace” would have been my choice for a literary boyfriend when I was a teen. Of course, Jean Vanjean from “Les Miserables” certainly becomes a fine person and one worth getting to know. As for having someone worth knowing and acted like a hero, I have to say that Agatha Chritsie’s Hercule Poirot would be someone I’d love to have in my life.
As I have written before in “Austen’s Pretty Limits”[Archives], no one writes a hero like Jane Austen. Her main female characters, although good, never seem to appreciate them. Never have I read one of her novels that I don’t say out loud at some point, “If you don’t take him, I will!”

Perhaps it’s because even though my life has often been far from rosie, it’s mine. I don’t think I’d ever trade places with anyone, not after my hard-earned victories. Heroines are hard for me to acknowledge as any I truly admire enough to change my life to become .
I enjoy reading the adventures of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, Gretchen Archer’s Davis Way. MaryJanice Davidson’s assorted werewolves, mermaids, vampires, fairies, etc, and the female characters in many other writers’ works, but I am not sure I consider them as true heroines; none are place-traders.

The closest that come to life-switchers are the good women written by JK Rowling. Molly Weasely, (possibly), but surely Minerva McGonagal and Hermione Granger. If there is any of the woman I would really want to trade places with, (although not become), it would be Nyphadora Tonks, because of all the honorable men in Harry Potter’s world, Remus Lupin is a true, though undersung, hero.

Magic aside, I think I’ll stick with this life…but I hope other writers keep the great characters coming. I like to read about nice, honorable people.


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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4 Responses to Heroes and….Heroines?

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I certainly agree with you about Jean Valjean as an honorable hero. And I agree with you about Stephanie Plum being a fun character, but not one I’d want to be. I haven’t read or watched the Harry Potter stories, so I’ll take your word on the female characters. And I’m with you – I’ll take my present life before trading places with anyone I’ve read about! Fun post.


  2. jeff7salter says:

    and don’t forget “ghostess” which I used recently!
    Your tastes run to a more classical bent than I believe mine do. I’ve not read most of the ones you cited.
    Funny thing, I just recently read a quote by Agatha Christie in which she basically said she detested the Poirot character she created and wrote about in so many novels. I’ve never read one of those stories, but have thoroughly enjoyed the BBC series with ____ Suchet.
    haven’t read the Evanovich stories either, but Denise would sometimes get so tickled in a scene that — if she could catch her breath — she’d read one out to me. It was never as funny hearing it out of context as it must be reading it IN context.
    One of these days I’ll read Jane Austen!


    • I had also heard Christie quoted as saying that and I am very upset; he was her biggest ‘draw’ and truly made her a star.She even had a recurring character that was a middle-aged author(ess?), who wrote a popular detective that she had grown to hate.I think you would really enjoy the Hercule Poirot mysteries, Jeff….much more than you would Janet Evanovich, which I can truthfully admit is “Chick-lit”.


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