I began a search for a female character in a book or story who is truly beautiful. I mean beautiful in an all-over way: lovely, gracious, godly, generous, intelligent, wise, faithful, strong, etc. I met one such lady in real life, and I know she is all of the above because her life is filled with tragedy and her beautiful qualities shine through despite trials an average person would melt under. She is a combination of Job and the Proverbs 31 woman. Yes, I can relate to her in biblical terms. But in fiction? I can only think of Mark Twain’s women. And they are, for the most part, stereotypes. An ideal woman. Flat, not round. Other female characters might rise above their flaws (Sonya in Crime and Punishment, Jo in Little Women, Anne in Anne of Green Gables), but they are interesting because they are so flawed, not because they are a cut above the rest. I certainly haven’t plumbed the depths of literature, but the fact that this initial search comes up empty makes me wonder if fiction has failed at portraying this one type of woman.
If you can think of a truly beautiful-on-the-inside female character in a work of fiction, please let me know! I’ll keep you posted if some are found.