Another Tuesday, another Top Ten list brought to us by The Broke and Bookish blog. This week we have a freebie on “Mother’s Day.” I already wrote a couple of posts about mother’s day, but I didn’t want to skip this week, so I did a mix of my favorite and least favorite mom’s in literature. I stuck with classic lit. for this list, because, well, I like classic lit.
I found this list was a little tougher than I expected, as parents are much more rare in classic lit. than they are in modern stories. If they are portrayed, they usually take a minor role. However, there are some prominent mother’s in literature and some really stuck out to me.
- Marmee March (The Little Women, Louisa May Alcott)
- She’s kind to her children, loving to her husband, firm in her beliefs and morals, understanding toward failure, yet persistant that all try their best. I think it would be hard to arguee that she is the best image of a great mother in literature.
- Katie Nolan (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith)
- Hardworking and determined, Katie Nolan gives her children the opportunities she never got to have. Katie spends most of the book trying to scrape together just enough food to keep her children alive, and yet the kids grew up thinking they were rich as kings.
- Marilla Cuthbert (Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery)
- Strict and harsh at first (and at times later), Marilla grows into a loving and wise mother to the orphan Anne. It takes her time to adjust to the spirit of Anne, but when she does, she becomes her biggest fan and confidant.
- Ma Ingalls (The Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder)
- Tough to the core and hardworking, Ma shows us what it meant to be a mother in the tough times on the prairie. She is kind, but stern, encourages individuality in her children but demands obedience. To her husband she is supportive and a clear advisor. She set the standards for her children and her husband to live by, and by golly they followed them.
- Fantine (Les Miserables, Victor Hugo)
- Perhaps the most tragic mother in literature is poor Fantine. This is a case where intention shows the heart of the woman. Fantine does all she can to give her child a good home, even if that meant giving her up. Leaving her child behind broke her heart, but she truly believed her daughter would be better without her. Then, due to the cruelty of others, she worked herself to death to provide for her child. She embodies the selflessness that mother’s have when caring for their children.
- Mrs. Bennet (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen)
- Many people have a soft spot for Mrs. Bennet, and I guess I can understand that, but overall, I really dislike her. She’s ridiculous.
- The Stepmother (Hansel and Gretel, The Brother’s Grimm)
- So all stepmothers in Grimm’s fairy tales are pretty bad, but this one is the worst. She convinces their father to leave his children in the woods because she wants more food. She’s terrible.
- Daisy Buchanan (The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald)
- Did you forget that Daisy had a daughter? Don’t feel bad because apparently she did to.
- Jocasta (Oedipus Rex, Sophocles)
- She’s bad in the sense that she ends up marrying her son after killing her husband. It was all a big misunderstanding, but still.
- Mrs. Wormwood (Matilda, Roald Dahl)
- Encourages her brilliant daughter not to be brilliant…yeah, she’s pretty awful.