Books and movies often focus on the bold and brave heroines, but what about the quiet and strong ones? The heroines that reveal the steel beneath the quiet exteriors and show that they are capable of great endurance. Sometimes they are in the shadow of a dynamic counterpart and they have to find their own way in the world. These types of heroines, in many ways, are more relatable than the Tris Priors and Scarlett O’Hara’s of the world. Their brand of strength comes from a nobility of character and the grace they exhibit. Not all of us can wield a sword or boldly scream out love to the skies. These heroines are the warriors of the heart.
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Five Quiet and Strong Heroines of Period Classics
#1 Princess Marya Bolkonskaya, War and Peace: Princess Marya had to endure her father’s ridicule and the pressure of trying to fit into noble society. Being naturally quiet and timid, Marya had to find a well of strength inside herself to survive and raise her brother’s son. Marya also kept the light of hope alive when she fell in love with Nikolai. Her faith was rewarded in the end.
#2 Elinor Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility: Elinor had practice keeping her feelings inside as she was the glue that held the family together. Marianne was the shining star of the family, but Elinor was the steadfast sun. Her silent strength endears her to audiences and her joyous ending inspires all gentle heroines.
#3 Agnes Wickfield, David Copperfield: Agnes was the caretaker for her family and over David as well. Her gentle nature was backed up by her tenacity. Agnes was a contrast to the vibrant Dora, but her character was the compass by which David set his path, even when he didn’t know it.
#4 Fanny Price, Mansfield Park: Fanny had to grow up hearing about how grateful she should be and putting up with the foibles of the Bertrams. She was the gentle presence in the background of all the high and lows in the family. Her heart stayed faithful and true to Edmund as she held steadfast to her ideal of happiness.
#5 Edith Adelon, The Inheritance: Edith is one of the most self-sacrificing characters I’ve encountered in literature. Her very nature is selfless and Edith is willing to give up her inheritance to spare her family. Her quiet devotion inspires goodness and steadfastness of heart.
I hope you enjoyed this list and please list your favorite quiet and strong heroine.
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