Strong fictional heroines have been around for a long time, even before mainstream media paid attention. From Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, most female leads in these stories translate outside the pages as women who show that there's nothing wrong with being both vulnerable and courageous, rational and kindhearted, and even wise and free-spirited. These are, of course, in contrast to having a girl portrayed as a tomboy just to show strength and sharpness or as starry-eyed and helpless to show femininity.
With this, we listed some of the most memorable and inspirational quotes from some of our favourite book heroines to serve as a reminder that we are, and will always be, the hero of our own life story.
“You may ask questions which I shall not choose to answer.”
- Elizabeth Bennet, Pride And Prejudice
Whether it's about marriage, career, or having children, there's a looming deadline or expiration date in some of the most common questions asked to women even at this day and age. So take some notes from Lizzie Bennet the next time someone badgers you about whether or not you can really succeed in the path you've chosen. After all, other people's questions do not define you — YOU define you.
“I went looking for my dreams outside of myself and discovered it's not what the world holds for you, it's what you bring to it.”
- Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables
We often live in a very external-driven world. We seek grander heights and find wonder in almost everything else. But while this is good, we often forget that we also bring in a little bit of colour and charm that are uniquely our own to the world. If you're feeling down, this is a definitely great reminder to start with.
“I find it poor logic to say that because women are good, women should vote. Men do not vote because they are good; they vote because they are male, and women should vote, not because we are angels and men are animals, but because we are human beings and citizens of this country.”
- Jo March, Little Women
When she's not out cutting her hair back in an era where bobs and pixie cuts are not considered 'chic' or even 'appropriate', Jo March is off showing her quirkiness, individuality and determination. The right to vote may not be in line with today's time, but her underlying message of gender equality is still very much relevant.
“They’ll come back, they always do in the end.”
- Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Hermione (being a member of the Golden Trio) and Ginny (being her badass self in the books) always have the spotlight on them, but sweet Luna deserves more recognition. She was a reminder that we should always be kind, considerate, and curious, and that if things — or people — are meant to find their way back into our lives, it will most certainly happen.
“My skin has turned to porcelain, to ivory, to steel.”
- Sansa Stark, A Storm of Swords
Arya's older sister may not be the ideal heroine that comes to mind when talking about ASoIaF. But if you think about it, Sansa started out as a fragile girl who dreams of gowns and princes and ideal domesticity, who has slowly transformed into a strong woman trying to constantly learn from her mistakes. Her character may not be as graciously cunning as Cersei Lannister or as compelling as Daenerys, but she shows how we can all shed our past vulnerabilities, learn from mistakes and constantly work on being better. It's like looking back at cringe-y choices we might have done before and becoming a new and improved version of ourselves as years go by.
Get some inspiration from the words of your favourite K-drama characters, too!