It's Mother's Day, and in honour of the occasion, I'm going to list a few mothers in fictional works who are inspirational characters:
Mrs. Jumbo: Disney's classic 1941 movie about Dumbo, the big-eared elephant, featured a touching relationship between him and his mother, Mrs. Jumbo. Is there anyone who doesn't get misty-eyed when he goes to visit her after she's been incarcerated for protecting him from being abused? Sniff.
Mrs. Miniver: In the 1942 film, 'Mrs. Miniver', the title character is raising her family during the Blitz in England. Dealing with the dangers and stresses of life during WW II, Mrs. Miniver sets an example of strength, bravery, and patriotism for her children.
Marta Hanson: "I Remember Mama" is a 1944 play which was made into a movie a few years later. Marta, or "Mama" is the calm center of her sometimes fractious extended family, instilling the values of hard work, education, and self-sacrifice in her children through personal example.
Mrs. March: I'm currently participating in a read-along of "Little Women" over at The Edge of the Precipice, and in the novel, Mrs. March is a great influence in her daughters' lives. For much of the book, her husband is away at war, and she is left to raise their daughters on her own. She patiently dispenses wisdom and instruction to her girls, and teaches them such values as charity and honesty by modeling these things herself. And, busy as she is, she also finds time to provide a motherly influence for the boy next door.
Marilla Cuthbert: In "Anne of Green Gables", Marilla Cuthbert and her brother Matthew adopt Anne Shirley from an orphanage. Though a bit starchy and stiff -especially at first- Marilla provides what the neglected young girl needs in her life. Not just the physical necessities like food and clothes, but also stability, security, and the chance for an education. She is also the sense to Anne's sensibility, not squelching her imaginative, dramatic personality, but teaching her to have self-control over it. Most importantly, Marilla provides Anne with love... not overly demonstrative or verbally expressed, but real and unshakable. Marilla Cuthbert, though not biologically related to Anne, is her mother in every way that really counts.
* These are, of course, just a few admirable mothers to be found in movies and/or books. There are many more in fiction and, more importantly, in real life. So, if you are a mom, or have one... Happy Mother's Day!