Five Women Of Literature Who Taught Me To Be Strong

Sometimes when life is beating down your door, you want to hide. I’ve spent a lot of time hiding from life. The storms come, my house is shaking and I go under the covers and wait it out.

I realized though, as this morning hit us with some bad news, that I was hiding again. I didn’t want to deal with the realities surrounding me. And then I sat down to write a post for National Book Lovers Day, I realized that the thing I love most about the written word is the real life impact I receive from women of fiction.

Their lives may not have been real but how they touch me and others is so real, it changes things.

In my own season of trial, I want to come out from under the covers, stand up and have my own “As God is my witness…” moment..

Here are five women of literature who taught me to be strong.

  1. Scarlett O’Hara — my favorite fictional woman…ever. Say what you want about her, she was one of the strongest characters ever written. As God is my witness, as God is my witness they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again. GONE WITH THE WIND.
  2. Elizabeth Bennet — to deal with all the crazy people and pressure of expectations in her life, she had to be strong. And those are the words of a gentleman. From the first moment I met you, your arrogance and conceit, your selfish disdain for the feelings of others made me realize that you were the last man in the world I could ever be prevailed upon to marry. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.
  3. Jane Eyre — any woman dealing with an abusive past and a psychotic woman locked away until she gets out and starts setting fires deserves the title: strong. I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will. JANE EYRE.
  4. Anne Shirley — sometimes strength comes in the form of just being yourself, persistency, quiet confidence. I went looking for my dreams outside of myself and discovered, it’s not what the world holds for you, it’s what you bring to it. (one of the) ANNE OF GREEN GABLES.
  5. Eponine — a woman who can watch the man of her dreams fall in love with someone else and still love him enough to help him in his new relationship, that woman’s heart is made up of strength. (last words of Eponine as she dies in his arms) >>> And by the way, Monsieur Marius, I believe that I was a little bit in love with you. LES MISERABLES.

There are so many powerful women who have given us examples of pushing through the storms and trials of life and standing firm against the crashing waves. They endured a lot and in their own forms of strength inspired millions.

I’m thankful for their stories.


  1. Yana | Smile Is It | 10th Aug 17

    I love Scarlett O’Hara! Gone with the Wind is one of my favorite books and movies.

  2. Alicia | 10th Aug 17

    What great examples of strong women in books. I love the empowering quotes you chose.

  3. Ana | 10th Aug 17

    Love your picks! All of these are truly empowering. Les Miserables was one of my favorites back in high school and I’ll never forget Eponine’s sad story… Brings back memories 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  4. Yolanda | 11th Aug 17

    So powerful. Such strong amazing women.

  5. Cheyenne | 11th Aug 17

    I love Elizabeth Bennett! And Jane Austen too!

  6. Joanne | 11th Aug 17

    Anne Shirley…one of my all time favorite fictional characters. Truthful to a fault. Smart, curious, and so, so strong. Love the heartiness and joy found in little things that she portrays.

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