Ingenue (stock character)
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The ingénue (pron.: //) is a stock character in literature, film, and a role type in the theatre; generally a girl or a young woman who is endearingly innocent and wholesome. Ingenue may also refer to a new young actress or one typecast in such roles. The term comes from the French adjective ingénu meaning "ingenuous" or innocent, virtuous, and candid. The term may also imply a lack of sophistication and cunning.
Typically, the ingenue is beautiful, gentle, sweet, virginal, and often naïve, in mental or emotional danger, or even physical danger, usually a target of The Cad; whom she may have mistaken for The Hero. Due to lack of independence, the ingenue usually lives with her father or a father figure (although in some rare cases she lives with a mother figure). The vamp (femme fatale) is often a foil for the ingenue (or the damsel in distress).
The ingenue is often accompanied with a romantic side plot. This romance is usually considered pure and harmless to both participants. In many cases, but not all, the male participant is just as innocent as the ingenue is. The ingenue is also similar to the girl next door archetype.
In opera and musical theatre, the ingenue is usually sung by a lyric soprano. The ingenue stereotypically has the fawn-eyed innocence of a child.
- Ariel in The Little Mermaid
- Belle in Beauty and the Beast
- Snow White in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- Maria in West Side Story
- Ophelia in Hamlet
- Christine Daaé in The Phantom Of The Opera
- Cosette in Les Misérables
- Tammy Tyree in the Tammy film series
- Donna Moss in The West Wing
- Bailey Quarters in WKRP in Cincinnati
- Jane Bennett in Pride and Prejudice
- Jemima or Sillabub in the musical Cats
- Johanna in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
- Luciana in The Comedy of Errors
- Sandy Dumbrowski in Grease
- Amelia Sedley in Vanity Fair
- Alice Munro in The Last of the Mohicans
- Sidney Prescott in Scream (franchise)
- Hope Cladwell in Urinetown
- Marie Antoinette in The Rose of Versailles
- Annie Edison on Community
- Cecile Caldwell in Cruel Intentions
- Magnolia in "Showboat"
- Laurey Williams in Oklahoma
- Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes
- Sookie Stackhouse in True Blood
- Elena Gilbert in The Vampire Diaries
- Zerlina in Don Giovanni
- Betty Elms in Mulholland Drive (film)
- Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Marie and Anastasia in Nicholas and Alexandra
See also