Happy Galentine’s! My Favourite Friendships from Classic Literature

Happy Galentine’s! My Favourite Friendships from Classic Literature

Finally, a holiday that celebrates friendship! Galentine’s Day is a day to spend quality time with your nearest and dearest, preferably over cocktails! 

While a lot has been said about some of the best romances in classic literature, today we have compiled a list of some of the best friendships in literature. These relationships are evidence that love comes in many forms, and we should never take our dear friends for granted. These stories show that real friends endure through thick and thin and promise to be at our side no matter what.

So read on for our top 7 best friendships in literature!

 

  1. Anne of Green Gables - Anne and Diana

Anne of Green Gables (1985) 

With Anne’s exuberant spirit and Diana’s more retiring and timid personality, these two did not look like they would stay friends for long - but they did, even swearing to be “bosom friends” forever.

 

Anne of Green Gables Quote Print. Shop Here

 

The books follow Anne and Diana’s friendship, from Anne’s initial arrival as a lonely orphan to Avonlea, to Diana’s marriage to Fred Wright and the birth of their three children (the second of which she named after Anne). Their friendship was not without its ups and downs. A particular incident involving currant wine meant the girls were separated by Diana’s mother for a spell. And later on, Anne had reservations about Diana marrying “round and red” Fred.

Even as their lives start to diverge in early adulthood, they remain close. Although not particularly interested in studies herself, Diana is a true and supportive friend to Anne as she follows her ambition to go away for school. Later, Diana gets married and cares for her children, while Anne is consumed with her writing and teaching work. 

 

Anne of Green Gable (2016)

Their relationship shows that very different people can find delight and companionship in each other’s company, and change doesn’t mean that the bonds of friendship will break.

 

2. To Kill a Mockingbird - Scout + Dill

 

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

 

Much has been said about the special bond between Scout and her father Atticus. But in the course of the book, Scout spends the majority of her summers in the company of the family’s housekeeper, Calpurnia, her brother, Jem, and her childhood friend, Dill.

Jem is on the cusp on adolescence and is starting to become more distant from Scout. Dill, closer to her in age, becomes her summer companion and they embark on a number of adventures and discoveries together.

 

To Kill a Mockingbird Quote Print. Shop Here

 

Dill is a small and sensitive boy, sent each summer to Maycomb to his aunt’s house. He is desperately lonely, at one point running away from home and hiding under Scout’s bed to avoid going back. He has an active imagination and loves performing in "plays" the children hatch up, including Boo Radley’s story. The two share a fascination with the ghostly figure of Boo Radley, a reclusive man who only leaves the house at night. They create elaborate plots to see him.

 

Scout and Dill undergo significant changes in the book. They witness the racial injustice experienced by Tom Robinson, and this event is the loss of their childish innocence. The world is no longer divided into good and bad people, but varying degrees of darkness.

The depiction of this friendship is even more meaningful with the knowledge that it was based on that of Harper Lee and Truman Capote. Every summer Capote was sent to Monroeville, Alabama. He stayed next door to Harper and they stayed lifelong friends.

 

3. Much Ado About Nothing - Beatrice + Hero

 

Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

While the play centres on two intertwining love stories, these romances would never have come about without the ingenious, and at some points clumsy, interventions of each party’s beloved friends. 

 

Much Ado About Nothing Quote Print, Shop Here

 

Beatrice and Hero are cousins, Beatrice is the niece of Hero’s father, Leonato, the duke of Messina. Beatrice, an orphan, has grown up with Hero. The two women could not be more different. While Hero is shy and diffident, Beatrice is bold and opinionated. However, Hero can see past her feisty exterior and recognises she is actually vulnerable and wishes deeply to be loved. Hero and the other ladies and gentleman of the household hatch a plot to bring together Beatrice and Benedict, who, both stubborn in their ways, are unwilling to see that they would make a good match. 

 

 

While Hero plays the matchmaker behind the scenes, later on Beatrice unleashes fury against Hero’s betrothed when he accuses her of adultery. She loves Hero like a sister and is deeply grieved on her behalf when she is mistreated. The subsequent plot hatched to fake Hero’s death and teach her fiancee a lesson might be a little comical, but it demonstrates the lengths Beatrice will go to to make sure her dear cousin’s good name is restored and justice is seen to.

 

4. Great Expectations - Pip and Joe

 

In the course of a long friendship, it is normal that both parties will change and evolve as the years go on. There might even be periods of separation, where for different reasons the individuals don’t see eye to eye, and it becomes difficult to be in each other company for a time. Difficult circumstances can strain the bonds of friendship to the breaking point. In some cases, it takes the determination and love of one person to refuse to give up hope that the friendship can last. 

 

Great Expectations Quote Print, Shop Here

This is the case with Pip and Joe from Great Expectations. Joe is raised by his sister and brother-in-law, Joe. While his sister is unkind and resentful of his, Joe becomes a father-figure to the orphaned Pip and resolves to give Pip a better upbringing than his own.

 

Great Expectations (1998)

 

When Pip circumstances change and his finds himself living as a gentleman in London, he is embarrassed by Joe and his lowly origins. He sees his life as heading towards an upward trajectory and Joe’s humble manners do not fit in with this. Despite Pip’s rejection, Joe remains supportive and caring towards Pip. 

Pip’s easy good fortune doesn’t last, as he comes to face to face with his less than illustrious benefactor and experiences Estella’s cold rebuttal. Pip realises how foolishly he has behaved and returns home, begging Joe for forgiveness. With his good and steadfast natures, Joe welcomes him back with open arms, as nothing had ever happened. Pip learns that Joe had more to teach him about love and and goodness that his previous life ever could.

 

5. Pride & Prejudice - Elizabeth and Charlotte

 

Pride and Prejudice (2007) 

Friendships can be supportive and close even when two individuals cannot see eye to eye. Difference of opinion or choices in life doesn’t have to mean the death of a quality friendship. So often relationships are torn apart because a person feels judged or shamed for their choices. But where real love exists, it is possible to move beyond differences and forge ahead.

 

Pride and Prejudice Quote Print, Shop Here

 

Elizabeth Bennett and Charlotte Lucas could be said to be such friends. Elizabeth is headstrong and independent. Despite her families pressure to marry a person of means in order to support the family, Elizabeth refuses to bow to convention, preferring to wait until she truly loves someone.  This draws the ire and judgment of those around her, who believe she has thoughts above her station and should accept whatever decent offer that comes around. 

 

Pride and Prejudice (1995)

Charlotte circumstances are similar. She comes from a family of modest means. She longs for a home of her own and the material comforts of marrying well. After Mr Collins is rejected by two Bennett sisters, Charlotte accepts his proposal. It is evident that there is little love between them. While Charlotte is level-headed and kind, Mr Collins is pompous and a snob. Elizabeth struggles to see why her good friend would settle for a dull, loveless marriage. Charlotte frankly explains that she doesn’t have Elizabeth’s strength of will, nor her physical beauty. She sees the reality of her life in more starker terms and knows she has made a sensible decision. Elizabeth relents, and their friendship is not damaged by this divergence in life choices. They support each other, and you are left in no doubt that they will continue to do so no matter what life brings them,

 

6. Matilda - Matilda and Miss Honey

 

Matilda (1996)

A friend does not always have to be a peer. A large age difference does not matter when both parties are caring and can enjoy common interests together. With appropriate boundaries, a teacher or caregiver can be become a trusted friend to a child. Such relationships can give children much needed affection and guidance that may be otherwise lacking in their lives.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda is one such child. Raised by unloving parents who don’t understand her and deride her interests, Matilda becomes used to her own company and the world of books. Sensible and prodigiously clever, she looks after herself in most respects. Her teacher, Miss Honey, has a special fondness for Matilda. 

 

 

Matilda uses her special powers to get rid of the evil head mistress Ms Trunchbull, Miss Honey’s step-sister, and spends more and more time staying with Miss Honey. When her family is forced to leave town after her father’s shady business dealings are revealed, Miss Honey convinces Mr and Mrs Wormwood to let her adopt Matilda. They live happily ever after in her book-filled home.

 

Matilda Quote Print, Shop Here

 

Their enduring friendship shows that sometimes our friends need more than just simple companionship. In some cases, friends step up to become our family. Miss Honey and Matilda both long for the same thing - a loving, safe home. And lots of books.

 

7. Little Women - Laurie and Jo

 

Little Women (2020)

Like Elizabeth Bennett, Jo March is an independent young woman with a mind of her own. Apart from the her concerns about caring for her family materially, she also has big dreams. She loves to write stories and plays and dreams of being a famous writer.

The four sisters are used to doing everything together. When they meet Laurie next door, he is the first true friend Jo has outside of her family. Laurie is dazzled by the March sisters. Raised alone by his wealthy grandfather, he longs for their noisy and warm home and their rambunctious sibling rivalry. He soon ingratiates himself into the family and he and Jo become inseparable.

 

Little Women Quote Print, Shop Here

 

As they grow older, Laurie imagines a different kind of future together with Jo than what she envisions. He strongly wishes to be part of the March family and believes he is in love with Jo. Jo rebuts him. She knows their friendship would not endure this way and they wouldn’t be happy together. Inevitably, this fractures their relationship for a while. Jo goes to New York to earn a living and pursue writing, while Laurie goes to Europe. After sometime, they are reunited, older and wiser. They resolve to stay friends.

 

 

Laurie and Jo’s friendship captures how friendship can be an amazing adventure. Good friends can open up the world and introduce to new possibilities and ideas. They can stoke your creativity  and push you to take risks. While Laurie and Jo were not meant to be together romantically, they were always meant to be the best of friends. 

What is your favourite friendship in literature? Comment below!

 

Leave a comment:

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published