Aug 7, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Day 16

Day 16: Favorite Female Character

There aren’t too many female characters that I would have in my top favorites besides Lisbeth. She is the main character in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. I find her to be a very complex character. On one hand, she is a woman who dresses Goth and looks very scary, and has had a rough upbringing. You also find out she is incredibly smart and very gifted as a computer hacker. Stieg Larsson, the author of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, was 15 years old when he witnessed an acquaintance of his get raped by three men. He didn’t do anything to stop the act, and when he asked the women for forgiveness she refused. Her name was Lisbeth. This part of his life gave birth to the character of Lisbeth Salander who, in the book, is also a rape survivor. It is a very powerfully themed book about violence against women. The story, however, is great. Lisbeth teams up with an investigative journalist to try and catch a serial killer, who preys on women. The book is great and she is definitely one of my favorite female characters.


“Whatever happens tomorrow, we had today; and I'll always remember it.”

It's hardly fair how much power an author is given over another human's emotions. No stranger to emotional reading,  I will often opt for something that is more light-hearted, perhaps even easier to read, digest, and enjoy. And that is how I stumbled upon David Nicholls. I had heard that his works were uproarious and delightful. Starter for Ten and The Understudy were some of the most highly-praised books I came across during my time in the UK. And, so, when I picked up One Day, I thought, surely, that I would enjoy an airy, emotionally-unobtrusive novel about two people falling in love.

Not quite the case.

One Day chronicles the love story of Emma and Dexter over the course of 20 years, beginning each new chapter on the anniversary of their first night together after their university graduation. As you've probably gathered, Emma Morley is my favorite female character. She's savvy, smart, and hopelessly in love with Dexter, a man consistently and courageously lost among his own ego-centered desires. Emma's wit and capacity for love is both inspiring and heart-breaking. Strong and independent, she represents my favorite type of protagonist: the kind you root for, even if you're not sure she's making the best decisions. 

Today was easier than yesterday to make a decision, only because yesterday got me thinking ahead! I realized that a lot of the books I read are female protagonist heavy. This isn't intentional in any way, but it is an interesting realization of what could be considered a subconscious selection. 

Today's challenge finds me thinking about Jean Louise "Scout" Finch, the tomboy protagonist of To Kill a Mockingbird. I've loved this book since the moment I read it in junior high. I have two copies on my shelf -- an old cloth-bound and the new 50th Anniversary paperback from 2010. (I had another one, but lost it during the many college moves.) Since the day it was published, it has continued to challenge society and one's way of thinking. And Scout is the perfect protagonist to be the challenger. Aided by her father, Atticus, Scout's moral growth, her childlike, innocent, and honest view of what happens in her community, and what she finds to be the true meaning of justice is an admirable way to challenge society on where it's going wrong, and make us question our own morals and interactions with society. 

Scout is a masterpiece character regardless of if you agree with the moral outcome of the book, regardless of if you choose to agree or disagree with the questions or views expressed by the main characters, regardless of if you think the book should be banned or not. Scout's character taps into our essential being, taps into the heart of who we are and how we live and treat each other. 


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