5 Iconic Female Characters From Literature

“I’ve lived in books more than I’ve lived anywhere else.” – Neil Gaiman

I’ve always loved reading. At any given time, I have a book with me. Or at least a book loaded onto the Kindle app on my phone. As someone who loves reading and has predominantly lived in the world of books – some of the people I grew up looking up to were fictional. Literature offers us a variety of heroines. Over decades they have also been brought to life by actresses who played them on screen.

Here’s looking at the five iconic female characters from literature. (I’d like to add here that this is a list that made from my personal preferences – your choices might be absolutely different from mine).

Elizabeth Bennett

The heroine from Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice, has remained an icon even today. Elizabeth Bennett overcoming both her pride and prejudice against Mr. Darcy through the course of the novel has made her an endearing character to reckon with. She was a character much ahead of her times and continues to resonate with the modern woman of today!

Jo March

The first heroine I came across in my young age who didn’t make it seem like a bad to thing to want to wear your hair short or tell people exactly what was on her mind!
Jo March was the inspiration of many young women to finally have the guts to stand up for themselves. She was a character I worshipped growing up! And still do today.

Hermione Granger

While the world focused on Harry Potter as the boy wizard, a lot of us impressionable young girls fell in love with Hermione Granger. She was the first truly inspirational fictional character who made you believe that it was okay to let your inner nerd shine. Nerd was no longer used as an insult. Instead we started wearing the fact that we enjoyed learning on our sleeves!

Anne Shirley

But long before Hermione made it super cool to be a nerd, there was a red headed, hot-tempered heroine who enjoyed learning equally! She came to Green Gables by mistake but it was a mistake than changed everyone’s lives. Anne’s stories continued as she grew up and we find ourselves in awe of this strong, independent woman – who makes a life for herself in Prince Edward Island. The most recent adaptation of this story is the Netflix series, Anne with an E, which hints that Before Green Gables, her life had not been all sweet and rosy.


I should write spoiler alert – because I am about to drop the bomb that most people who haven’t read Rebecca don’t know. Rebecca is the name of the first wife of Maxim de Winter. We never find out what is the name of the lovely young narrator who is the second wife. And despite the fact that Rebecca was a cruel woman, I cannot help but admire how calculated she was. Rebecca showed the signs of a psychopath in every possible way. For a novel published in 1938, it was way ahead of its time. As was the character of Rebecca who lingers in our minds even today!

So, who are the five most iconic female characters in literature that you can think of?

We are sure we haven’t listed some of your personal favourites. So, do let us know in the comments section below!

Image sourced from Freepik

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Aniesha Brahma is the author of The Secret Proposal, The Guitar Girl, When Our Worlds Collide, All Signs Lead Back to You, An Awfully BIG Adventure, P.C. Chandra’s Awesome Four: Coming Together & The Legend of Stardust, and Children’s Classic Stories. She blogs regularly at Aniesha’s Musings and Bibliotheque, and runs BUZZ Magazine. You can follow her on social media: Facebook| Twitter | Instagram or just drop a mail at [email protected]

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