The Best Female Characters in Literature Fictional Characters
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The Best Female Characters in Literature

List Criteria: Favorite women and girls in books, plays, poetry, etc. - No comics

List of the best female characters in literature. From the evil to the undeniably perfect, these are the greatest female characters from literature of all genres. This list includes the best female characters of all ages, from the youthful Matilda (“Matilda”) to the ever-so-adult Evelyn Couch (“Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe”).

 Why do female literary characters stay with readers long after they’ve finished reading the novels these characters are featured in? Often, it’s due to the intimacy with which readers have come to know a character. Jane Eyre (and all of her desires and feelings), for example, becomes so real to readers that they feel as if they’ve met and understood this amazing female character.

 Other times, readers love female characters in literature because of the audacity of their actions. Scarlett O’Hara (“Gone with the Wind”) was exceedingly bold for a woman of her time, while Madame Defarge (“A Tale of Two Cities”) is an exemplar of tireless villainy. Some of the best female literary characters manage to embody both wholesome and defiant, becoming reflections of the complex nature of women.

 For the wide range of personality traits we find in these great female characters (and the audacious actions they’ve performed), these women have earned their titles as the best female characters in literature. They may be young or old, charming or black-hearted, but they are all memorable. Whether you love them or love to hate them, they’re all here in this list of the best female characters in literary history. 
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  1. 1
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    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Deathly ...

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  2. 2
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    Lost in Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Bride and Prejudice

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    To Kill a Mockingbird

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  4. 4
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    Little Women

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    Matilda

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  6. 6
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    Alice in Wonderland

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    new! & added by leti.schifino Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part I, Harry Potter and the ...

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  8. 8
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    Mary Poppins

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  9. 9
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    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The ...

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  10. 10
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    Anne of Green Gables, Anne: Journey to Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea

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  11. 11
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    Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire

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  12. 12
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    The Hunger Games

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  13. 13
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    The Book Thief

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  14. 14
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    The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Lord of the Rings, The Lord of the ...

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  15. 15
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    Nancy Drew, Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, Stratemeyer Syndicate ...

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  16. 16
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    Beatrice Much Ado About Nothing

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  17. 17
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    Hot Shots!, Gone with the Wind

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  18. 18
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    Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire Game of Thrones  

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  19. 19
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    Little House on the Prairie

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  20. 20
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    Return to Oz, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Wiz

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  21. 21
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    My Fair Lady, Pygmalion

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  22. 22
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    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

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  23. 23
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    Macbeth, We Work Again, Shakespeare Tragedies: Macbeth

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  24. 24
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    The Scarlet Letter

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  25. 25
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    Breakfast at Tiffany's

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    Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal

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  27. 27
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    Pippi Longstocking

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  28. 28
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    Anna Karenina

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    The Color Purple

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  30. 31
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    Charlotte's Web

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    added by Rotten Tomatoes Lists Fern Arable Charlotte's Web

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    Bridget Jones's Diary

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    Wuthering Heights

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    Tess of the d'Urbervilles

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    Fight Club

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    Madame Defarge A Tale of Two Cities

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  37. 38
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    added by izzyk The Golden Compass, His Dark Materials

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  38. 39
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    Great Expectations

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  39. 40
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    Pollyanna Pollyanna

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  40. 41
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    Vanity Fair

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    Lady Brett Ashley The Sun Also Rises

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    Madame Bovary

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    Beezus and Ramona

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    Valmont, Dangerous Liaisons, Les Liaisons Dangereuses

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  45. 46
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    Lolita

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  46. 47
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    Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

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  47. 48
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    Harriet M. Welsch Harriet the Spy

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  48. 49
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    added by leozmail1999 Maximum Ride Maximum Ride

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  49. 50
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    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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  50. 51
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