best female protagonist (the john green tag part i)

by - 2/12/2015 08:08:00 am

You love John Green's books; I love John Green's books (although they are somewhat filled to the brim with purple prose). Ever since The Fault in Our Stars, all of his books have become pretty famous and often make it on the NY Times Bestsellers list. Let's look at the best of the best, the top characters/books/quotes/whatnot! Why not?! MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD.


BEST FEMALE PROTAGONIST = Margo Roth Spiegelman & Hazel Grace Lancaster


"You see how fake it all is. It's not even hard enough to be made out of plastic. It's a paper town. I mean look at it Q: look at all those cul-de-sacs, those streets that turn in on themselves, all the houses, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought for them at the paper convenience store. Everyone demented with mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people too.”―Margo Roth Speigelman

Cara Delevigne, who will play Margo in the Paper Towns movie
I know, shocking (I've heard people don't like her)! For those who've read Paper Towns (or at least the blurb of Paper Towns), you'll know that she doesn't appear for most of the book. But I'll tell you why she's great.

When it comes to writing female protagonists, I think the authors should concentrate on making them interesting, instead of the strong, don't-need-no-man type, you know? I mean, I hate Mary Sues as much as you do, but real girls aren't all strong, just like boys. We're so wonderfully diverse, and so our fictional counterparts should also be diverse. Make them interesting, and I will find them interesting.

And Margo fits that criteria. Plus, she's quite fun to read about.

As Q made the journey to discover the real Margo, so did we. I found it a tad annoying that her main role was to pose as an object, a sort of reward at the end of a journey. She only existed because Q needed someone to fall in love with, thus ensuing the plot. And I hate that.

We discover she's not the quirky, magnificent, adventurous girl that everyone thinks she is. In this paper town, according to Margo, is a paper girl. And the paper girl is her.


“Lonley, Vaguely pedophilic swing set seeks the butts of children.”―Hazel Grace Lancaster



Like Gus, I believe Hazel is unprecedented, at least compared to most teenagers her age. She's unusually thoughtful and mature. And we all like her (I suspect). But do we like her for the same reason?

 Well, first off, she actually wants to minimize the amount of harm she inflicts on the world and the people in it (vegetarianism, the whole no-Gus-we're-just-friends thing, her obsession to know how An Imperial Affliction ends, blah). That's pretty darn heroic. Many, many people want to be important, known and remembered, and I would be one of them, but not Hazel (although I get she is fictional, there's still interesting lessons to be learned from fictional characters).

She's also a fun and reasonably reliable narrator, and also the first narrator in a John Green book that is a girl. And I'm glad Green attempted to recount the story from a female perspective.


Sorry if any of you are genuinely upset that Alaska Young or Lindsey Lee Wells isn't a favourite of mine. I really am. Try to be less upset about this and more upset about the fact that it did you no good to be upset. Just kidding.

―jo

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