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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    To Kill a Mockingbird More
  2. 2
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    Lost in Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Pride and Prejudice More
  3. 3
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    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Deathly ... More
  4. 4
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    Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire More
  5. 5
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    Alice in Wonderland More
  6. 6
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    The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Lord of the Rings, The Lord of the ... More
  7. 7
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    Little Women, Little Women, Little Women More
  8. 8
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    Matilda More
  9. 9
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    Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire More
    Game of Thrones  
  10. 10
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    Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal More
  11. 11
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    Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins More
  12. 12
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    The Scarlet Letter More
  13. 14
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    Hot Shots!, Gone with the Wind, Gone with the Wind More
  14. 15
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    Liesel Meminger

    The Book Thief More
  15. 16
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    Breakfast at Tiffany's More
  16. 17
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    Little House on the Prairie More
  17. 18
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    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo More
  18. 19
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    Lolita More
  19. 20
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    Macbeth, We Work Again, Macbeth More
  20. 21
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    Beatrice

    Much Ado About Nothing More
  21. 22
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    Anna Karenina More
  22. 23
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    Return to Oz, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Wiz More
  23. 24
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    The Hunger Games More
  24. 25
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    My Fair Lady, Pygmalion, My Fair Lady More
  25. 26
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    Great Expectations More
  26. 27
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    The Great Gatsby, The Great Gatsby, The Great Gatsby More
  27. 28
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    Tess Durbeyfield

    Tess of the d'Urbervilles More
  28. 29
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    Wuthering Heights More
  29. 30
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    Bridget Jones's Diary More
  30. 31
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    Nancy Drew, Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, Stratemeyer Syndicate ... More
  31. 32
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    Celie

    The Color Purple, The Color Purple More
  32. 33
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    Lady Chatterley's Lover More
  33. 34
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    Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe More
  34. 35
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    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest More
  35. 36
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    Fern Arable

    Charlotte's Web More
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  36. 37
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    Lady Brett Ashley

    The Sun Also Rises More
  37. 38
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    Rebecca, Rebecca More
  38. 39
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    Valmont, Dangerous Liaisons, Les Liaisons Dangereuses More
  39. 40
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    Charlotte's Web More
  40. 41
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    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The ... More
  41. 42
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    Madame Defarge

    A Tale of Two Cities More
  42. 43
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    Anne of Green Gables, Anne: Journey to Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea More
  43. 44
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    Pippi Longstocking

    Pippi Longstocking More
  44. 45
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    Molly Bloom

    Ulysses More
  45. 46
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    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory More
  46. 47
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    Fight Club More
  47. 48
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    Love in the Time of Cholera More
  48. 49
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    Misery More
  49. 50
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    Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax

    The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband, The Importance of Being ... More
  50. 51
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    Atonement More
  51. 62 +

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