Literary Heroines: Amy Dorrit

Last year, my favorite of my dorm decorations was the wall of fame composed of my favorite literary (and
film!) heroines. I had pictures of these girls, each with the character trait I most admired in her captioning the picture. I've been meaning, for a long time now, to write a series for my blog, featuring this women, why I love them, and how I want to be like them. So here begins my Literary Heroines series, starting with one of my all time favorites--Amy Dorrit.

Amy Dorrit, of Dicken's Little Dorrit, is probably one of the most underrated female characters in literature.  Why is there not more fuss made about her? She most certainly deserves a place near the ladies of Austen and Bronte. The picture I have up here, is Claire Foy as Amy in the BBC's 2008 production of Little Dorrit.

The Kindred Spirit and I just finished watching the BBC miniseries together today, sighing that great sigh of happy-sadness that comes with the end of a good period drama. I watched it for the first time last summer with my Dad, and I'm beginning to see a tradition forming. Annual summer viewings of LD, anyone? I say oui! 

Amy was born and raised in the debtors prison where her father is kept for half of the story. Subject to abject poverty, she does her best to keep her father happy and comfortable in his imprisonment. Throughout the story, the most striking thing about Amy is her gentleness and grace in all situations. Always kind, respectful, and considerate, she keeps a cheerful outlook on life despite her bleak beginnings. Even after her family's fortune takes a turn for the better, she still maintains her gentle sweetness and servants heart in the midst of her riches. She never forgets the friends that loved her in her poverty, no matter how much the rest of the family wishes to distance themselves from their past.

I have felt a good deal of kinship toward Amy since I first read the passages about her being often mistaken for a much much younger child.  (Try being a junior in college and having a lady in the mall think you're twelve. yeah.) I've noticed that having a hero(ine) produces a couple of results--and this is just from a casual study of people, not scientific at all, so bear with me--first, you notice that a character that you kind of like has some similar qualities, usually in physical appearance, to yourself. This being noticed, you strive to mold your mannerisms to be more like them. Its not a bad thing, as long as you don't change your you-ness to  become a fictional character.
 I've seen it time and time again from my girlfriends, whether they know they're doing it or not. I hope that because I am aware of this cycle I can avoid it's personality altering pit-falls and, rather, harness this admiration of a model character to my best advantage. This is kind of the drive behind this blog series.
SO, in a way of wrapping things up (And I apologize for the completely blowzy, unstructured nature of this post) I present to you a list of how I strive to be like Amy Dorrit.

  •  to be graceful in all circumstances, maintaining dignity, but not prideful.
  •  to be gentle towards all, even when I could easily snap out in anger. (This is for your sake, my six brothers)
  • to cultivate a servants heart, thinking of others first.
  • and... slightly more trivial,  to learn how to do my hair like hers! 
This is definitely going to be my wedding hair-do someday!

As always, thank you for reading! Let me know in the comments what you thought about Little Dorrit if you've seen or read it. I'd love to hear from you!

No comments