Imagination needs inspiration to bloom.


How to be a heroine by Samantha Ellis

Samantha Ellis has chosen a magnificent concept for her new book. Literature has had a great impact on her and she has used characters to understand her own life and find solutions. The book mixes characters from different books and time periods, and Ellis herself is one of them. Her own life is woven into the fabric. The reader gets to know how her parents wanted her to marry a Iraqi-Jewish man. How she struggled to be able to leave her home and go to Cambridge – where Sylvia Plath once studied.

Ellis prefers different heroines in different periods in life. In The Bell Jar, Esther Greenwood made her believe that suffering has a value. Her biggest heroine is her mother that left her home in Iraq and moved to a new world. But, eventually, when she herself was struck by a disease, she realized that suffering has no value. She was neither stronger nor more humble. It's interesting to follow Ellis personal development and how it changes her view of the characters.

Occasionally, she returns to the sisters Brontë's characters. It seems that Cathy and Jane are competitors and she has to choose one of them. Why can't both be heroines? Why can't she understand right away that she needed one in her early life and now identify with the other?

It's a book from a feminist perspective. Samanatha Ellis prefers heroines, not passive girls. She likes characters on adventure, that challenge themselves and overcome their fear. That becomes independent individuals and refuse to be governed. She question why Ariel sacrificed her voice to meet a man, or why Anne Shirley stopped writing when she married.

The book is well-written. Books about literature tend to have a hypnotic effect on those interested in literature, especially if it's well written. You learn much about books and how to use them for your own good. You get tempted to read many new ones and form your own opinions. You run the risk of becoming even more interested in literature.

Samantha Ellis take the heroines from the books and make them her friends, in a fascinating way. At one time, in the bad tube, she gathers all the characters to a reunion. Only the imagination is the limit.

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