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Monday, March 25, 2013

Heroes Every Young Woman Should Know

"Boys: They're better in books." Sound familiar? If you're on Pinterest, it's a message you've probably noticed popping up a lot. While it's sometimes fun to lament that you need a Mr. Darcy, honestly, do we really think that the only good guys are in books? I believe that if someone was able to sit down and create a perfectly wonderful male character, they must have had inspiration from somewhere, and therefore someone like that character must exist. There are lots of great guys out there; reading books with strong male characters have just given us high standards. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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I've recently read three posts (herehere, and here), where the blog authors do a great job of expressing how much they dislike Twilight. Both of them primarily focus on Bella, and what a weak female character she is. Each of them lists heroines from books that every girl should know, before reading about Bella.

But what about Edward and Jacob? Yes, Bella might be a terrible role model, but what about the guys? First off, there's Edward: creepy, 100 year-old guy who falls in love with Bella's smell. Then breaks up with her. Then there's Jacob: Stalker. Won't take no for an answer. Instead of being disappointed and moving on, he never relents and makes life miserable for the woman he supposedly loves. What with all the teen-heart-throb-hype centering around them, girls can come away thinking that that's what a truly great guy is supposed to be like! Do they sound like the type of gentlemen you'd want to be with? I don't think so.

Well, here I am throwing my 'hating Twilight' post into the mix. Edward and Jacob are teaching young women all the wrong things on what to expect from guys. What's even worse is that often it's younger, impressionable girls that are reading this stuff. So here's my list of heroes that every young woman should know. Not before she reads Twilight, but instead of Twilight. 

Faramir, Sam, and Eomer from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Faramir remains obedient to his father and continues to love his brother, even though he is demeaned by his father. He knows what it is to sacrifice, and his love for Eowyn is pure and true. Sam gives up his comfortable life in the Shire for the greater good of destroying the ring, but also because he knows his best friend, Frodo, needs him. His love for Rosie never wavers. Eomer stands up for what's right and best for Rohan, even when it comes to his possessed uncle banishing him. He is the truest brother, and protects and loves his sister, Eowyn.

Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Though he loves Marianne, he realizes that she loves Willoughby, and even though he knows Willoughby's true character, doesn't try to demean him to get to her. He also cares for his ward after she is wronged by Willoughby, enduring what people say about him to avoid slandering another.

Jehu Schudder from Boston Jane by Jennifer L. Holm. Though a rough sailor, Jehu cares for Jane since she is alone in the wilderness. He not only loves but respects her, and though he sometimes reprimands her, he does so in a kindly way that's meant to make her better, not bring her down.

Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Though he is proud and vain, it's clear he has been raised a true gentleman. When he first proposes to Lizzy, they become mad at each other and start arguing. Even though he is angry, he still bows and wishes her 'good day' when he leaves. Also, he takes it upon himself to deal with Whitcomb after he and Lydia elope. Though he wants Lizzy to fall in love with him, he doesn't tell her about what he does.

Finn from The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale. Quiet, loyal, hard-working Finn is a constant friend. He hides Isi, even though she cannot tell him why; and he protects, cares for, and supports Enna when she burns. He remains a constant friend and advisor to King Derek and Razo, as well as caring for his mother in the forest.

Fili, Kili, and Thorin from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Fili and Kili are strong, have faith in their quest and king, and never want to turn back. Thorin is a strong leader, wanting what's best for his people, and believes in his family's heritage and right to the mountain. "Fili and Kili had fallen, defending him with shield and body, for he was their mother's elder brother." The Heirs of Durin, though they are warriors, have a deep and genuine love for family.

Shane from Shane by Jack Schaeffer. He works hard, is quiet, but has strength and a great mind. He doesn't want to fight, but does so for the Starett's. He respects Mr. Starett, and will never let any of them down. He knows when to act and when to lie low.

These are just my thoughts. There are so many more book characters that are true men, and even though they have faults, remain gentleman. These should be the favorites, the heart-throbs. Not Edward and Jacob. Even if you feel the need to read Twilight, please also become acquainted with these and other true gentlemen. Most of all, realize that just because some books may leave us with high standards when it comes to guys, it doesn't mean that those guys don't exist.

Your Thoughts?: What is your opinion of Jacob and Edward, or Twilight in general? What makes the men I've listed 'true gentlemen' in your mind? Who would you add to the list?

Also, don't forget to be back for the 30 Day Disney Challenge, beginning April 1!

Thanks for reading! :)









2 comments:

  1. Really enjoyed this post :)

    Haley @ Carrots for Michaelmas

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

      ~Gillian

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