In Praise of Heroines

Heroines come in all ages, races, and body types. They remind us that being a woman is different than being a girl. In Jane Austen’s Persuasion, her last completed novel published posthumously in 1817, the protagonist Anne Elliot is no blushing maiden. She is well into what would at that time be considered middle age, when she becomes reacquainted with her original love, Captain Wentworth, a man she rejected years before because her family didn’t approve of him. Persuasion is both a biting satire, perhaps Austen’s most acidic, and a Cinderella story for the woman approaching autumn. Anne finally marries Wentworth, but not until she has undergone decades of character development and weathered the vagaries of fortune.

In the 1955 David Lean movie, Summertime, no less a formidable lady than Katherine Hepburn plays Jane, a secretary on a Venetian holiday. Having granted herself this vacation as a treat, she gets more than she bargained for when she meets a handsome antique store owner (Rossano Brazzi). He captures her heart; then breaks it when she learns he is married. Though his romantic interest in her is sincere, Jane cannot go against her morals and she breaks off the relationship. This bittersweet story shows a sophisticated and complicated situation, against a gorgeous Italian background. It’s both escapism and harsh reality at the same time.

In present day New York City,  Denise Marsa, singer/songwriter and owner of her own PR firm, is preparing her one-woman show. Entitled The Pass, it will tell of her life and times, which include being lead vocalist on HELPLESS (You Took My Love) by the Flirts & “Lucky Stars”, with Dean Friedman. Due to have its first salon reading in the late fall of 2016, The Pass is a true tale of a woman’s journey through stardom, disappointment, conflicting loves, and ultimate triumph, as she learns to take control of her own destiny. The link to Denise’s blog:

Heroines don’t live only on the pages of Jane Austen or on movie screens. They’re not just Jane Eyre or Alice in Wonderland, and they’re not always teenagers. They are your sister, your mother, your neighbor, your friend; they are you.

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