Monday, August 20, 2007

Alpha Heroines

I'm reading NOVELIST'S BOOT CAMP by Todd A. Stone, and I come across something that strikes me as rather new. I don't recall ever coming across a section in other writing books about the Alpha Female.

According to Stone, she should fit the following criteria (which are discussed in more length, but I'll just recap):

- an iron will that drives her to take action

- truly understands right and wrong

- connected to her feelings, her family and the people and places around her

- sees clearly and deeply (to give his example: she'll be uncomfortable when in the company of "friendly smiling sharks")

- solid under pressure

- has a sex drive

The first fictional heroine I thought of after reading this section? Jane Eyre.

To be sure, she may not be quite what Mr. Stone is thinking of. I suspect he's thinking more Ripley from Aliens, but in my mind, Jane definitely fits his notion of an alpha female -- and so would many a romance heroine who isn't out there physically fighting her enemies.

Jane certainly has an iron will. We see this time and time again.

She truly understands right and wrong (in her society), or she would have lived "in sin" with Mr. Rochester instead of leaving him.

She's very aware of her own feelings, the people around her and the places where she lives. We often get a sense of Jane watching everything and everyone around her.

She sees people clearly and deeply -- that's one reason her aunt doesn't like her. She also sees Blanche Ingram for what she is, and isn't impressed with the rest of the house party, either. And isn't Blanche just the personification of a "friendly smiling shark?"

Jane's solid under pressure -- she comes to Rochester's aid despite his manner, and she doesn't have a fit when she's called upon to nurse Rochester's wounded brother-in-law.

And yes, indeedy, she has a sex drive. Judging by the way she thinks about Rochester, I'm very, very sure her attraction to him is a lot more than mental.

So for my money, Jane is very much an alpha female -- and that's why Mr. Rochester loves her.

Tonight I'm going to be watching the premiere (for us) of Blood Ties, a show about a vampire. Not exactly my cuppa, but hey, the vampire's the illegitimate son of Henry VIII, so I'll give it a go (and also see if the main female character fits the above list).

That means we're taking a break from Season Two of Rome. A couple of things about that: we're dismayed over what they aren't showing. My daughter was particularly troubled that we didn't see Mark Antony's oration over the body of Caesar. We were both upset that we didn't get Atia's reaction to Mark Antony's revelation that he was marrying her daughter. I mean, the woman is a major drama queen, so we were looking forward to a big scene, and we got...nuthin'.

And I've just gotta say, Gaia better get her come-uppence for what she did to Eirene, or I'm really gonna be upset. Stay away from her, Pullo! She's eeeevil! Not alpha, eeeeeeevil!


Michelle Styles said...

I think season 2 is even better than season 1.

I must admit that I really liked how they did Mark Antony's speech. It would have been far too twee to do the Shakespearian version, but this way, they were able to show things.

And I am not saying anything about Gaia...but she was really evil.

Kimber said...

I think most "rebels" are alphas.
And Jane Eyre is a rebel.
She doesn't care about how others perceive her (some call that being arrogant, as an alpha I call it being self propelled).

Margaret, I love that you "get" alphas. 'Course that's because you're an alpha yourself (which is why you're writing medievals and not vampire novels).