A meme on some of the choicest female characters from the literary world. This was originally for The Banyan Trees March issue but I couldn’t make the deadline last week. So here it is, and it’s not exactly complete. I couldn’t find time to think of more.(This was extra. The regular column in The Banyan Trees is present like always).
1. Karla Saaranen (Shantaram)
What’s it about mysterious women? Karla Saaranen was the ultimate mystery woman. We believe we know a lot about her character , physical or otherwise – beautiful, witty, clever – but we are left with very little. Her disarming charm and unexplained aggression towards the end of the story make you fall in love with her even more. The power of Karla Saaranen lies in the fact that no matter what she does or reveals, your love for her never diminishes.
2. Dagny Taggart (Atlas Shrugged)
Dagny Taggart stood for everything that was original, real and practical. Atlas Shrugged itself was a more pragmatic version of The Fountainhead and therefore Dagny Taggart had to be the more pragmatic version of Dominique Francon. Dagny was a woman of steel, utterly uncompromising on her values and beliefs and could yet make you fight for her heart.
3. Lata Mehra (A Suitable Boy)
Lata Mehra not only represents a bygone era, but also the once quintessential Indian woman possibly lost since then. She is bold enough and rebellious but expressing her love for another man and opposing her mother’s sentimental ways is as far as she can go. She is mildly fickle minded and her ultimate decision might gnaw you for sometime but soon you’d realize that it was the only logical one. And that required as much courage as crossing the skies for your love.[sic]!
4. Bellatrix Lestrange (Harry Potter)
In the world of fantasy, seldom has anyone created a character that is not only intriguing but at the same time an important one in the larger scheme of things. And evil women? J.K. Rowling had the courage to do it. Bellatrix is synonymous with evil, misery and all things violent. Not only is it absolutely impossible to like Bellatrix but it won’t be a shocker if someone flinches at the mere mention of the name. A name feared the world over, real and magic, second only to the Dark Lord himself. She can be a favorite for her character arc, but never liked.
5. Jean Louise “Scout” Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)
The more interesting character is of course Atticus Finch but Scout is as exciting, if not more, as he is. The choice of Scout as the narrator has a lot to do with it. We see everything through Scout’s eyes. We feel what she is going though and we think the way she thinks. This was a story begging to be told at that time and this was the best way it could have said. We were all children, we were all willing to learn and therefore Scout turns out to be the voice of our epiphanies when the story is over. Precocious here is a wrong word because along with Scout we grow up as the story progresses.