Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and I luuuurve this week’s topic: Top Ten Rebels in Literature!
I love a good rebel because they are so very opposite of sweet, goody two-shoes me. In most of my examples, these are not characters who were all brooding and Rebel Without a Cause-ish, but they stood up for what they believed in despite the consequences. That is, in a word, awesome.
So here is my list of the best rebels evah:
1. Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)– I’ve mentioned before that Atticus is hands down my favorite literary character of all time. I don’t believe he’ll ever be surpassed. In a time and place where racism was commonplace, he defended an innocent black man accused of raping a white woman, despite the danger that is posed to both he and his family and, perhaps worse, despite the fact that he knew it was a losing battle. Plus he’s been forever memorialized by Gregory Peck in the film version. That’s never a bad thing.
2. Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre)- Jane had a less than desirable upbringing and a life lacking much love until she crossed the threshold of Thornfield Hall and became governess to Mr. Rochester’s ward, Adele. Just when it seemed like she was about to get her well-deserved happily ever after, the rug was pulled out from under her. She didn’t stay and take the tawdry option offered my Mr. Rochester, but instead left and carved out a new life for herself. It was painful, but she did the brave thing and moved on.
3. Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice)- My love for Miss Bennet runs deep. She’s bright and beautiful but quick to recognize the fact that though it’s not a common idea, she hopes to one day marry for love. She turns down not one but TWO marriage proposals (from Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy) and has no problem making fun of Darcy to his face. In the end, she’s humble enough to see her own shortcomings and to forgive Darcy for his, but I think her weaknesses are what make her so interesting (and I think that’s what Mr. D loves about her too).
4. Katniss (The Hunger Games)- I think most of us would be willing to take the place of a loved one who is about to face danger. Most of us, when put to the test, would fight with all we had for our lives if necessary (though there’s no guarantee we’d be as much of a butt kicker as Katniss). But not everyone would have the courage to pretty much say IN YO FACE to the Capitol again and again (because not only can they hurt you, they can hurt everyone you love). Whether it’s with her illegal hunting at home, her mockingjay pin, or eating the berries in the first book, Katniss has some serious cojones.
5. Harry, Ron and Hermione (The Harry Potter series)- I could go on for days blabbing about how much I love these three. They are the most devoted of friends, their strengths compliment each other and despite the fact that they’re young wizards (meaning there are many who are more experienced and stronger) they constantly run toward danger to face it head on.
6. Frankie Landau Banks (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks)– Guuuurl, Frankie is awesome. She realizes one day that she doesn’t like being left out of the all boy secret society on campus. So what would you do if you were Frankie? Most people would complain and do nothing (I’m in that group). A few might spy on them. But that wasn’t good enough for our girl Frankie. She infiltrated the group and got them to take orders from her like they were her little minions. And they had NO idea it was a yucky old girl doing it all! Also, she makes up words which automatically makes her awesome.
7. Tris (Divergent)– I know we haven’t posted our review on this one yet, but I’ve read it and it’s fantastic. Tris is amazing because she is so courageous–like, courageous bordering on crazy, but courageous just the same. She leaves her family, the place she’s grown up, and faces people who aren’t warm to her, to train for a dangerous job she may not get (thus leaving her homeless and without much purpose). And her bravery has nothing to do with being fearless. That’s the best part. She is frightened, but she pushes past it.
8. Lena (Delirium)- Lena has to go against everything she’s ever been taught for the sake of love. And this is dangerous for many reasons. First, because she’s been told that love is a serious infectious disease (but she is willing to risk catching it when Alex sparks her interest), second because she could be locked away (or worse), and third because Alex could be harmed. But she risks it all, not only for romantic love, but for the memories she holds of real love from her mother or the real love she feels for her best friend. These things make her willing to question everything she’s ever believed in.
9. Taylor Markham (Jellicoe Road)- Taylor is brave bordering on crazy in her desperation to find her mentor Hannah, the closest thing she’s had to a parent since her mom abandoned her years ago. Taylor will break any rules to find Hannah, or to find more information about her mother’s whereabouts. And then there’s her confusing relationship with Jonah Griggs, who both intrigues and infuriates her. Even though it hurts, she never backs down. She fiercely pursues the people and things that mean the most to her. Plus, she’s pretty brilliant as she leads her team in the local Territory Wars.
10. Katsa (Graceling)- Man we need to review this book. It is so good. And Katsa is a butt kicker. She is a trained assassin working for an evil king and though it may cost her her life, she defies him. Along the way she falls in love and, unlike most love stories, has no interest in marrying him! She loves him but …SPOILER ALERT…she’s like, can’t you just be my lover? Now, this isn’t necessarily how I’d choose to live, but when I read it I was like WHHHATTT?? You, Katsa, have a giant pair of you know whats. Also, you’re an amazing fighter.