8 Literary Characters That Can Inspire Women of All Ages

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Powerful stuff.

8 Literary Characters That Can Inspire Women To Be Whatever They Want To Be

Books can inspire, motivate, and act as a guiding light in signs of trouble.

There are so many strong, independent, smart female literary characters. Some came during a time when such a character was different, a unique notion that women can be their own people without help from husbands or men. Some characters are young, they couldn't drive in our real world but they show intelligence that surpasses their maturity levels.

Whatever it may be, the following literary characters can and have inspired women of all ages. It's important to keep reading and keep writing such powerful characters.

1. Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter

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Hester was unfairly branded as an adulterous woman while men got away with the exact same thing. She's an example of improper treatment of women but instead of playing the victim, she fought back.

Our managing editor loves Hester, "I always looked up to Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter, because she was a badass woman who wasn't taking anyone's shit. She proudly wore her scarlet letter, but didn't let it define her. Her attitude is something I try to emulate daily."

2. Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Series)

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Buy the book from Amazon, here.

Lisbeth Salander is a character who alludes strength in spite of her unfortunate past. She uses her powers for good, helping those who need it while kicking ass. She's not perfect but most women aren't anyway. Her strength is admirable and absolutely refreshing to see in a female protagonist.

3. Winnie the Pooh from The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh

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Buy the book from Amazon, here.

Winnie the Pooh is a feel-good character that teaches us it's okay to be different and it's certainly good to befriend a wide cast of characters.

Our Pinterest editor was taken with the character too; "Pooh has always had a special place in my heart but as I have grown up, I have learned that there is so much more to this silly old bear than just stuffing and honey. I value his simplicity especially in this complex world we live in. He is a genuine, innocent character who teaches us what it means to be a good friend and to love others for who they are no matter how big or small. I have also learned from Pooh to appreciate what I do have in my life rather than wishing for what I didn't. To some Pooh might come across as clueless or naive but I consider him to be carefree and a bear who values the little things in life and remembers to live each day as a new adventure."

4. Hermione Granger from The Harry Potter Series

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Buy the series from Amazon, here.

From children to grandmothers, I think we can all agree that Hermione Granger is one of the most prolific female characters of all time. She's smart, intuitive, and loyal. Emma Watson does a phenomenal job of bringing the character to life to the big screen.

5. Bridget Jones from Bridget Jones Diary

via Miramax Films and Amazon

Buy the book from Amazon, here.

Bridget Jones is a hilariously honest character. She's boisterous and unapologetically herself. She's not a size zero, an aspect of the character that resonates with women reading the Bridget Jones series.

6. Offred from The Handmaid's Tale

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Buy the book from Amazon, here.

Against all odds, Offred is still a strong, capable protagonist, even when the world is horrendous. She's an example that even in the worst of circumstances, it's important to believe in yourself. She's a leader and feminist even when that means her life could be in jeopardy.

7. Clarice Starling from The Silence of the Lambs

via Orion Pictures and Amazon

Buy the book from Amazon, here.

Clarice can keep up with the boys club and even a psychopath sees that. Clarice's wit and strength carries her through the entire novel. She interacts and dare I say, befriends Hannibal Lecter and catches Buffalo Bill. Her age and gender never defined her, she was the best of the best.

8. Jo March from Little Women

via Columbia Pictures and Amazon

Buy the book from Amazon, here.

Fiery and stubborn, Jo March fights for what she believes in, a unique notion at the time of publication. Tomboyish and passionate about her writing, Jo is a feminist who would rather work than marry. There have been more characters written with the same priorities but in 1868 it was a foreign and often looked down upon, idea.

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