The question for The Classics Club’s April meme is:
“Who is hands-down the best literary hero, in your opinion? Likewise, who is the best heroine?”
I will answer for the best literary heroine first.
I love Jane Eyre. I adore her spirit. I adore that Charlotte Brontë made her a heroine that doesn’t need a pretty face, and doesn’t need a man with pretty face as well. I adore her struggle for financial and emotional freedom and her passion to belong somewhere in the world. I love how she doesn’t become bitter despite the world being unfriendly and alienating her. And most of all, I love how the figure of Jane Eyre shows that an independent woman is not one who overpowers man, but one who stands beside man and helps him as an equal companion.
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” – Jane Eyre
As for the best literary hero, I was torn between Pip from Great Expectations and Athos from The Three Musketeers, but in the end my choice goes to Pip.
I am deeply touched by Pip’s persistence to love Estella despite her being cruel to him and deceived him, and in my heart I hope that in the “invisible ending”, Estella would change and finally be bound together with Pip. A typical happily-ever-after ending, you say? Well, after all Pip has been through, don’t you think he deserves it?
“… I had loved Estella dearly and long, and that, although I had lost her and must live a bereaved life, whatever concerned her was still nearer and dearer to me than anything else in the world.” – Pip