March 1, 2022
Life Lessons From Literary Heroines
On the way back to the orphanage after learning Green Gables was not to be her home, a heartbroken Anne Shirley declared, “I’ve made up my mind to enjoy this drive. It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly … Oh, look, there’s one little early wild rose out! Isn’t it lovely? Don’t you think it must be glad to be a rose?” In moments of particular hardship, I often picture Anne, well aware of her ill fate, yet determined to celebrate the beauty surrounding her.
There’s another little girl I think of too. Her name is Sara Crewe and among the pages of “A Little Princess,” her optimistic spirit has touched millions of readers all around the world. Banished and without a cent to her name, she reminded us, “Somehow, something always happens just before things get to the very worst. It is as if Magic did it. If I could only just remember that always. The worse thing never quite comes.”
The only certainty regarding unforeseen circumstance is that it is likely to meet us throughout our lives. However, navigating these twists in the road is made easier with the turn of a page — with a peek inside the stories of courageous, resilient heroines. When the midnight stars were at their dimmest, they sought out magic and where they did not find it, they created their own. In their own words, these are pieces of inspiration we can carry in our hearts when experiencing our own versions of Anne’s carriage ride to the orphanage or Sara’s nights in the attic. These are life lessons from a literary heroine.
Life Lessons From Some of Our Favorite Literary Heroines
“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” – Amy March, “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott
“I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst it’s perils.” – Jane Eyre, “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë
“Is it so small a thing to have enjoyed the sun, to have lived light in the spring, to have loved, to have thought, to have done, to have advanced true friends? It isn’t.” – Juliet Ashton, “The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows
“I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.” – Elinor Dashwood, “Sense and Sensibility” by Jane Austen
“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder, “Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder
“I do like a road, because you can be always wondering what is at the end of it.” – Sara Stanley, “The Story Girl” by L.M. Montgomery
“And most generally there is something about everything that you can be glad about, if you keep hunting long enough to find it.” – Pollyanna, “Pollyanna” by Eleanor H. Porter
“The thought came to me that perhaps it is the loving that counts, not the being loved in return — that perhaps true loving can never know anything but happiness.” – Cassandra Mortmain, “I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith
“Let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry…have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere – be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.” – Francie Nolan, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith