Apparently, good girls are too boring.
Good morals are too unrealistic.
And purity is out of style.
Because the majority of 21st century literature has rolled up all that is clean and praiseworthy, and tossed it behind them, like outdated fashion. Instead, it has been replaced with corruption.
Where once virtue was rewarded, it it now mocked.
Where purity was respected, it is now looked down upon.
The world is backwards.
Now books praise the girls that are headstrong and forward, girls that are wild and willful, the ones that are manly. We want girls who are exciting right? They tell us it’s okay to be selfish and rebellious. But it’s the opposite of God’s way.
So here are three characters that I love because they are the opposite. Because they inspire me to be genuinely meek and humble, but simultaneously strong and true.
(Note: I am going to assume up front that you have read the books and are familiar with the characters, so in case you have not, spoiler alert!)
#1: Fanny Price from Mansfield Park
I’m not much of a Jane Austen fan, but I did enjoy Mansfield park. Most of Austen’s readers today consider Fanny too quiet and “pious”. They prefer the more outgoing Lizzy Bennet or mixed up Emma Woodhouse, which I think is sad because Fanny is a great example of standing strong for your beliefs even under pressure.
Some specific things I admire about Fanny:
She is unwavering
Okay well she ALMOST wavers when it comes to the play. But the fact that she is the last man standing, that she doesn’t follow a crowd to do what was, to her conscience, evil, speaks more than words. That takes strength.
And when it came to Henry Crawford, she WAS unwavering.
She is unselfish
She does not slander Mary Crawford, does not put her down, does not point out her faults, is, in fact, friendly and kind toward her. She does not harbour bitter and selfish thoughts. A lot of girls would be ready to do anything for their own advantage. But, though she could have, Fanny didn’t, because it wouldn’t be right.
She had a servant’s heart
She was constantly at others’ beck and call, yet she didn’t complain. She cheerfully gave up time and comfort, though Lady Bertram pestered her constantly. She was always patient and submissive.
#2: Rebecca from Ivanhoe
When Rebecca was first introduced in the book, I didn’t think much of her or her character. It wasn’t until later that I really started to feel for her and to recognize what a sad, weary life she led and how wholly her faith sustained her. Though certainly imperfect, she had so much worth underneath.
Some specific things I admire about Rebecca:
She is honest
She knew she was beautiful. She knew she was admired for it. And she could have got a lot more attention for it, more than she already did. But she was honest. I was really moved during the scene with her & Wilfred, and admire how despite her feelings, she revealed right away that she was a Jew. Even though it would change how he looked at her – she did it anyway.
She is Courageous
Can this be doubted? Her bravery really stood out to me all throughout. She had a quick mind and showed no fear in the very face of the tyrannical, haughty, and selfish Bois-Guilbert. And did she step down, though she faced being burned at the stake? Not even then.
She is humble
Can I just say – the last few pages of the book tore me to shreds. There can be no doubt of the inward struggle she was going through, but there was no bitterness. Instead she made the choice to be humble and resign herself to God’s will.
“He, to whom I dedicate my future life, will be my comforter, if I do His will.”
#3: Cora Munro from The Last of the Mohicans
From the moment she was introduced, I loved her. And she didn’t disappoint me. Being an older sister myself, I quickly related to her, and before many pages had passed I also respected and admired her. Actually, I find her unparalleled. Her trust in God, her presence of mind though many times faced by cruelty and death, her complete sense of duty – she is, in my eyes, the greatest literary heroine.
Some specific things I admire about Cora:
She is selfless
Countless times when she could have been concerned for her own safety and comfort, you find that she thinks of others instead. Especially timid Alice, who she is very protective of. When Magua offered to let the others go free if only Cora would be his wife, I was awed by how, even though every fibre of her being abhors the thought, she seeks the desire of her sister. Cora was willing even to pay so high a price for Alice’s release.
Wow. That is real love.
She is virtuous
One thing I love about her dearly is that every word she speaks is wise and kind, and her manners generous and cordial. You can see this all through the story. It reminds me of the verse in Proverbs 31:26, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
She is submissive
Spoken in reply to her cruel captor, but, as I like to think, also before the presence of Him in whose hands her fate truly lay, may the humbleness of her last words ever speak for her:
“I am thine! do with me as thou seest best!”
Sorry this post was so long!
Do you have a book character that you admire? Comment below 🙂