Many people bemoan that there are no strong, realistic female characters in any literature. Don’t you feel astounded? Not that we are surprised that there is a large number of books in which females are solely there to seduce, be silly, or be saved; you must have definitely seen your fair share of that at some point in your life. We all shall understand that such phenomenon is not just a form of sexism, but of poor writing, too.
Characters in any book worth its salt, regardless of their gender, are complicated and diverse. The good thing about a well-written story is that even a book as simple as children’s book can be engaging and full of meaning to adult readers when the writer knows how to craft something that can draw the readers in and show them the world in a whole new perspective with rich language and characters.
Some people have been blessed enough to read a lot of wonderful books from childhood on that feature intelligent, interesting, powerful females of all ages, books where the lead character is a badass female whose role is to drive the action and does not need to be saved by a knight in shining armor, does not need a hand from someone who pees standing up to save her world.
Russian Literary Heroines
In Russian literary history, happy characters are rare. In fact, Russian heroines give an inclination to making things rather difficult for themselves. However, it is okay because their beauty as epistolary characters acquires, in great part, from their capability to endure, from their miserable destinies. Back in the 21st century, Russia is a chaotical metropolis experiencing fast and major transformations where females rarely behave by the book.
The most important lesson to keep in mind about Russian female characters is that their stories are not about dealing with and overcoming obstacles so that they are able to live happily ever after. As the fancier of long-honored Russian values, Russian heroines know better that there is more to life than just being happy. To help you understand how Russian female characters are like, here are 5 magnificent books about Russian heroine. Check it out.
- Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
It is a book about Tatyana Larina who is like the Eve of Russian literature, not because she came first but because Pushkin the writer claims a unique, godlike place in Russian hearts. Tatyana personifies the essence and chastity of the mysterious Russian soul. It includes the tendency to self-sacrifice and contempt for happiness, as represented in her rejection of the man she loves.
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Anna Karenina is a little bit of a drama queen. She decides to leave both her husband and her son to elope with Wronsky. She definitely has a knack for making all the wrong choices and decisions, those for which she will have to pay later in life. However, her main mistake is not to have an affair or to leave her husband and her son. Her main mistake which is also the source of her miserable fate is that in her selfish act to feed her own sexual and romantic desires.
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Crime and Punishment is one of Dostoyevsky’s masterpieces. Sonya Marmeladova takes a role as the antithesis of Raskolnikov. They are a saint and a whore respectively. Sonya sees her being as a long road of martyrdom. After figuring out about Raskolnikov’s crimes, she does not flee; on the contrary, she attempts to save his sinful soul, including in an iconic scene, by lingering around Raskolnikov with her Bible and recounting the tale of Lazarus’ resurrection. Sonya can forgive Raskolnikov because she firmly believes that all men are equal before God, and God forgives.
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Natalya Rostova is the main heroine in this book. She is like a dream girl. She is clever, cheerful, and spontaneous. Natalya’s character is fun and feels so real and alive. It is because, in addition to her many good qualities, she is also naive, capricious, coquettish, and a bit of a tease, in her own early 19th century way. In the book, Natalya begins the story as a lovely teenager, radiating excitement and vitality. As the story continues and she grows older, she gets to learn the lessons that life has to offer, taming her inconstant heart and becoming a fuller and wiser person, a woman who is still smiling even after more than a thousand pages which is uncharacteristically for Russian heroines.
- Three Sisters by Anton Chekov
It is a story about Irina Prozorova who is is the youngest one among the three sisters. She is radiant and hopeful while her older sisters are bored with life in the rural area. They are whiny and gloomy, pretty much the polar opposite of Irina’s naive soul which is always filled with unfailing optimism. She often daydreams of coming back to Moscow where she believes, she will meet her true love there and they will have a happily ever after ending. But, as the possibility of coming back to Moscow vanishes, and she learns that she might be forever trapped in her village, she cannot help but lose her spirit.
Through Irina and her older sisters, Chekhov the writer shows the readers that life is a long sequence of boring moments, only occasionally disrupted by short bursts of spree. Just like Irina, we all often spend a great deal of time immersed in irrelevant thoughts, dreaming of a happy future, but gradually accepting the insignificance of our own existence.
So, those are 5 magnificent books about Russian heroine I have rounded up for you. Certainly, there are a lot of lessons to recall from Russian female characters in Russian Classics. Which heroine is your favorite teacher? You may also read 3 Interesting Books that Tell About Russian Hero.