Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
After reading Pride and Prejudice for the time, I was convinced I wanted to be just like Elizabeth Bennet. She’s smart, strong and knows exactly what she wants all while being lively and good-natured. Elizabeth stays true to her values when faced with strong societal and family pressure, but teaches us that we don’t always have everything and everyone figured out. She shows us the danger in passing quick judgement, but more importantly, she demonstrates how to accept that our assumptions can be false and that we should not be afraid to admit we were wrong and correct any harm done.
Jo March, Little Women
Outspoken, argumentative and rebellious, Jo March is nothing like the stereotype of a 19th century woman. She’s described as boyish and with a hot temper which frequently gets her in trouble. Jo is perhaps the most human and relatable character on this list, and her struggles and flaws make her realistic. She teaches us how to be proud of our individuality and the importance of being loyal to the people who matter most.
Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre is a character I admire for her integrity, sense of self-worth and strong self-respect. She continuously grows in strength as the novel progresses and is not discouraged by hardships and heartache. Jane knows the difference between right and wrong and is infuriated by injustice. However, she teaches us that although it is important to stand on principle, it is also important to forgive.
Nancy Drew, Nancy Drew Series
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Growing up, I read through these books like crazy. I had a box set that was so big it had to be stored in my parents' basement, and I channeled my inner Nancy Drew every time I went down the creaky, wooden steps by myself to get a new book. I loved Nancy’s fearlessness. She’s not afraid to be intelligent, devoted and passionate. She teaches us to do what we love and see where it leads even when it may seem scary.
Matilda Wormwood, Matilda
For such a young girl, Matilda knew how to make the most of what she had. After realizing her gift, she spent hours practicing and perfecting it before using it in clever ways. She shows us that there is a time to have fun and a time to be serious, and that a strong moral compass should guide both.
Lucy Pevensie, The Chronicles of Narnia Series
Lucy is the first one to enter Narnia and remains faithful until the end. She teaches us to be strong in our convictions, brave and loyal, and to always keep a curiosity about the world.
Ramona Quimby, Ramona Quimby Series
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The most important thing we can learn from Ramona is that we never have to fit in or be like others. She shows us that a beautiful world can be created with the help of an uninhibited imagination, and she demonstrates the positive impact we can have on others simply by exuding joy.
Heidi teaches us how to be a true friend. She is sweet and loyal and stays by Clara’s side even when times are hard. She shows us that when it comes to friendship, we have something to offer and everything to gain.