10 Rebels in Literature

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. To play, create your own top ten list on the topic they provide.

Top Ten Rebels In Literature (characters or authors) — Those people who stood up for what they believed in despite the cost of doing so.

  1. Harry Potter – The Boy Who Lived is the perfect example of a rebel. Knowing full well that he might die at Voldemort’s hand, he still stands up for what he believes in and still tries to stop him.
  2. Salman Rushdie – This author had to flee his own country for writing a book called The Satanic Verses: A Novel, which examines good vs. evil. Because of the novel’s controversial depiction of Muhammad, the spiritual leader of Iran called for Rushdie’s assassination, forcing him to flee to Britian and live under police protection.
  3. Hope Leslie – Title character of Catherine Maria Sedgwick’s Hope Leslie: or, Early Times in the Massachusetts, is one of the most important rebels in early American literature. Published in the early 19th century, Hope Leslie goes against all social norms to stand up for her principles. She helps an Indian escape from prison, lies to her family to see her sister, and holds a clandestine meeting with a group of Indians in the middle of the night. She flouts Puritan doctrines and all social mores of the time period to show that women weren’t as meek and timid as history originally thought.
  4. Eragon Shadeslayer – Title character of Christopher Paolini’s debut novel, Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle), Eragon must save all of Alagaesia from evil King Galbatorix and risk his own life in the process. If anyone stands up for what he believes in, no matter the cost, it’s Eragon. Plus, he has a cool dragon. That screams rebel hero to me!
  5. Elphaba Thropp – Otherwise known as the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba Thropp leads the resistance against the Wizard of Emerald City in Gregory Maguire’s Wicked: Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Wicked is an amazingly political novel with Elphaba leading the way for Animal rights and political equality for all of Oz. The Wicked Witch of the West has never been so vividly portrayed.
  6. FitzChivalry Farseer – Main character of Assassin’s Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1), Fitz is the bastard son of King in Waiting, Chivalry. Raised by the stable master, Burrich, Fitz learns to navigate the treacherous climate of court life. He must also learn to navigate all the political treachery associated with being a bastard as well as an apprentice to the King’s assassin. Perhaps his biggest challenge is rebelling against social norms and forming a magical bond with a wolf, considered taboo and uncivilized by the rest of society.
  7. Biff – Biff is Jesus’s best friend in Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. How could you not be just a little bit of a rebel when you’re the best friend of God’s son? He sticks with Jesus until the end, though. He knows what he needs to do and isn’t afraid of the job.
  8. Jamie Fraser – Hero of the Outlander series, Jamie has been tortured for his beliefs and actions, yet isn’t afraid to stand up for a cause. He’s the epitome of a rebel and an honorable man.
  9. Sherlock Holmes – Oh man, if you haven’t seen the new adaptation of Sherlock, do so immediately. You’ll see why Sherlock Holmes (the literary figure as well as the TV representation) is such a rebel.
  10. Laura Ingalls Wilder – I know this sounds like a bit of a stretch, but if you’ve read the series, you’ll understand why I put this here. Laura was always rebelling in some way, shape, or form through pushing Nellie Olsen into the creek, refusing to wear a bonnet, and striving to educate herself and be a teacher

Man, this was hard! It took me all day. What do you think?


© 2011 – 2016, Jessica Workman Holland. All rights reserved.

  • Sherlock Holmes and Harry potter <3
    Havn't read the others

    You can check out my list 😀

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder is a great pick! She truly was a rebel (in a good way.) 🙂