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15 Empowering Fictional Female Characters from Books Guaranteed to Inspire You

Updated on September 3, 2019
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People pick their role models from all walks of life and if you are a bibliophile like me, chances are that even the fictional characters from books are your role models. Reading is my favorite hobby and ever since I was a child, I have looked up to certain characters as an inspiration.

From the all-time favorite classic characters to some of the new voices in Young Adult novels, here are 15 empowering female fictional characters from books guaranteed to motivate and inspire you:

1. Hermione Granger, The Harry Potter Series

Hermione Granger is perhaps the most famous reader in modern literature. She is all about books and cleverness. She makes reading look so cool. Also she is super intelligent and super motivated. Her love for books and learning is indeed an inspiration, so is her loyalty towards her friends and the exemplary courage in the face of challenges.

Matilda said, "Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it's unbelievable.."

— Roald Dahl, Matilda

2. Matilda Wormwood, Matilda

Matilda Wormwood is the protagonist of one of the most beloved children's books. She is an avid reader whose best friends are to be found in the library. She is a child who has realized that adults are not always right. She knows that adults may be wrong but books never are.She taught me that reading is truly magical and knowledge is the real power.

3. Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice

Elizabeth Bennet is bold and brave. She doesn't hesitate to speak what's on her mind. She isn't status conscious. Liz is a smart and intelligent woman who isn't afraid to get what she wants. And yes, she is also beautifully bookish and reminds us that books are the best accessory.

Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.

— John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

4. Hazel Grace, The Fault in Our Stars

Hazel Grace is terminally ill. Initially she focuses on death and believes herself to be a ticking time bomb.But then she meets Augustus and her life changes beyond words. She experiences the magic of love and friendship. She knows that she is subjecting herself to heartbreak but that doesn't stop her from being open to love, and that's something I'll always keep close to my heart."

5. Bridget Jones, Bridget Jones' Diary

Bridget Jones may make a fool of herself but she always holds her head high. Her insecurities and social mishaps don't prevent her from seeking a successful, fulfilling, and happy life in both the personal and professional realms.

6. Lisbeth Salander, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Lisbeth Salander is a totally twisted character. Her life is spent being manipulated and others trying to control her. Yet she stands her ground and takes the control of her life back in her hands. She lives life on her own terms and never cares how others judge her based on her appearance. She is much tougher than an average person because she has to fight for everything in life.

7. Luna Lovegood, The Harry Potter series

Luna Lovegood comes across as eccentric and everyone mocks her. But she stands up for her beliefs. She embraces her individuality and feels no need to conform to the norm just to fit in the school.

8. Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games series

Katniss Everdeen doesn't hesitate to sacrifice her own life to save her loved ones. She is bold and courageous. She proves that irrespective of your background, you have a spark inside you that can ignite change.

9. Elinor Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility

Elinor Dashwood is level-headed, responsible, and kind.She knows that things likely aren't going to go her way but still she is kind and compassionate. She is prepared to live in misery for the rest of her life if it meant her family were as happy as possible given their circumstances.

10. Scarlett O'Hara, Gone with the Wind

Scarlett O'Hara is young, beautiful and headstrong. She makes some terrible mistakes when it comes love, but she survives them all. She doesn't lose courage in the face of challenges and fights against all odds. No matter what, she fights for her family.

11. Eowyn, The Lord of the Rings series

Eowyn is a noblewoman of Rohan who is described as a shieldmaiden. She fiercely loves her family but still she won't let them come in the way of what is right. She doesn't sit back and wallows in self pity when she gets rejected by the man of her dreams. She gets up and goes on to kill the second-most powerful villain in Middle Earth.

12. Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins teaches the Banks children valuable lessons with a magical touch. She's firm, wise, clever, prim and proper, and optimistic.

13. Sam, The Perks of Being A Wallflower

Sam is friendly, sweet, reserved and slightly timid girl who can be crazy when she wants to be.She inspires us to be ourselves and not do what everyone expects us to do.

14. Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre is an orphan who is employed as a governess and falls in love with her employer. Her strong mindedness and individualism makes her so appealing to the readers. Inspite of a hard life, she chooses to live life on her own terms.

15. Hester Prynne, The Scarlet Letter

Hester Prynne is beautiful, her beauty barely compares to her strength of character. She doesn't break even when she is publicly humiliated and punished for adultery. She remains exactly who she is: strong, kind, proud, but also humble.

Love, whether newly born or aroused from a deathlike slumber, must always create sunshine, filling the heart so full of radiance, that it overflows upon the outward world.

— Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

Top 10 Best Hermione Granger Moments - YouTube

© 2019 Shaloo Walia


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    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      21 months ago from India

      I agree. Matilda is such an endearing character. And the secret to her wisdom is books!!!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      21 months ago from North Central Florida

      Matilda a youth wise beyond her years....some of the others I will go in pursuit of reading about. Thank you for sharing ps

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      22 months ago from India

      Thanks Nithya. Jane Eyre & Scarlett O' Hara both showed immense courage to overcome the challenges life throws at them.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      22 months ago from Dubai

      Enjoyed reading, a great selection of female fictional characters. My favorite is Jane Eyre and Scarlett O'Hara.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      22 months ago from India

      Thank you Abitha!

    • Abitha Deepak profile image


      22 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      An entertaining read, what made it special was that most of them are my favourite characters too!

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      22 months ago from India

      @Ann Elizabeth Bennet is my favorite as well

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      22 months ago from SW England

      Elizabeth Bennett, Eleanor Dashwood and Mary Poppins - good choices! All positive, practical people that don't stand any nonsense and have compassion. I think Miss Bennett is my favourite; she has spark as well as sense.

      Interesting and entertaining hub.


    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      23 months ago from India

      Thanks Rinita! Hermione is an absolute delight for sure. I admire Scarlet O Hara for her courage (though I resent her for not loving Rhett Butler). And I absolutely love Elizabeth Bennet. I have read Liz & Darcy's story numerous times and still not tired of it,

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      23 months ago from India

      My pleasure, Linda...I am sure you will find them quite inspiring!

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      23 months ago

      Good list. My favorites are Scarlet O Hara and of course Hermione. Eowyn comes close, too.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      23 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm familiar with some of the characters that you describe. They are indeed inspirational. I'm going to investigate the unfamiliar characters. Thanks for introducing them to me.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      23 months ago from India

      My pleasure, Eric. Some characters really stay with us long after the book is finished. This is what great writing is all about.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      23 months ago from India

      Thanks Kathy for your generous comment. Books indeed touch our lives in ways beyond imagination.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      23 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well I'll be hamshackled. Never thought this way. Great stuff. Let us go be inspired. I always think of these kind of folks as someone's great writing.

      Now I am going to do something good. Thanks lady.

    • The Stages Of ME profile image

      Kathy Henderson 

      23 months ago from Pa

      Love this Hub!!!

      Every little girl should read this. We need to shout it from the mountain tops.

      To empower the female through characters is a beautiful thing. I was listening to a podcast with my son recently. The podcast was an interview with a young woman in a country where she did not feel that empowerment. She came across the book, Little Women, and related to the characters. She lived her dreams through that book until she could at last break free from imprisonment and live the life she desired.

      Thank you for providing so many examples in one article. This is lovely!

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      23 months ago from India

      Thank you Bill! You are always the first one to comment on my hubs :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are correct...they are inspiring characters for sure. :) I can now begin my day uplifted and inspired. :)


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