Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Cinderella or Scarlett O'Hara?

As a reader, do you have to fall in love with the female main character of a novel from the first page? Or can you have a woman who is self centered, ambitious and even arrogant, who treads on people's toes, and is determined to get her own way, yet still enjoy the novel?

Do you hope she will find a kinder way to deal with people, or that somewhere along the way she's going to get what you feel she deserves?

Do you admire her cunning methods to get what she wants, using whatever weapons she has, or are you more sympathetic to the kind-hearted miss who is abused by everyone but is still kind to stray kittens and gets the rewards at the end by luck rather than judgement and scheming?

The heroine of my latest book, Royalist Rebel, was definitely a Scarlett. She was also a real woman in a time where if she hadn't devised a plan, the conflicting factions would have destroyed her, her family and her whole future.

Elizabeth refused to give in, played both sides of the game, dined with the Puritans and spied for the Royalists, keeping them both on side for the sake of her family and later her children. She never apologised or explained her behaviour, kept her activities under wraps and let her enemies and friends think what they liked and became a Duchess in the end.

Do you love to hate Scarlett, the flawed heroine, or do you wish you could be more like her? Or is Cinderella the true heroine who triumphs despite adversity instead of being defeated by it?

4 comments:

Petrea Burchard said...

I hope we like flawed heroines like your RR and my Casey. They're more interesting to me than the Snow White types. Those were invented by men with antiquated ideals. What woman could live up to them? What woman would want to?

Jen Black said...

The most obvious difference to me is that Scarlett did things and Snow White had them done unto her. I suppose my Meg Douglas is a Scarlett type.
Jen

Anita Davison said...

Absolutely, Jen, Meg definitely has her dark side, and again she's a woman who has to fight for what she wants or risk being trodden underfoot by the men in her life who think they can ignore her feelings and she will simply comply - I love her too!

Petrea Burchard said...

Good point, Jen. A more interesting heroine is a more active one.

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