Which Jane Austen Character Are You
It is a truth universally acknowledged that every young woman who has ever read a Jane Austen novel or seen a Jane Austen film, fancies herself to resemble one of the characters.
Unfortunately, the character we resemble is not always the one we wish to be.
For I would love to be Elizabeth Bennet. Who wouldn’t? Or Jane Bennet, I suppose, would be tolerable.
But there are certain characters one desperately does *not* want to resemble. I for one, am grateful not to be the main character in Northhanger Abbey. Does anyone even know her name? I read the book and I still cannot remember what on earth she was called. Only that she was completely silly and lacked any common sense. Or Fanny Price from Mansfield Park. I do love books, but I am far too much of an extrovert to find her life anything but slightly petrifying.
And then there are so many characters, hysterical though they may be, we never would wish to resemble them in the slightest. Though, of course, I am sure there are times when we do. And, despite the two hundred year gap between Jane Austen’s writings and today, these figures are still parts of every day society–perhaps even more so than ever before. Who has not met a ridiculously boy-crazy, selfish, and down-right foolish Lydia Bennet? Or, for that matter, the annoying Mrs. Bennett, the hypochondriac worrier who only wants to see her children married off–and married well. The homely and social awkward Miss Bates from Emma who chitter chatters endlessly on the most boring of subjects and lacks social clues. Even Harriet Smith, known to much of humanity by Brittany Murphy’s Tai, is so clueless and naive it’s almost petrifying. And of course, we still have our fair share of Miss Bingley’s, Mrs. Ferrars’s, Mrs. Elton’s and other miss-guided wealthy females who feel themselves to be superior to everyone else but lack actual understanding of manners and are truly not as amazing as they think themselves to be.
And, even still, we meet the myriad of men from Jane Austen’s books in every day life. While I have yet to meet a Mr. Darcy, I certainly have seen more than my fair share of Mr. Wickham’s, Mr. Willoughby’s, Mr. Churchill’s, and Mr. Crawford’s. Not to mention dreadful Mr. Collins’s! *shudders* I wish that character type no longer existed! How often have you said “no” to a guy, only to have them insist that you secretly mean “yes?” Unfortunately, the idiocy of a Mr. Collins personality prevails.
So, as I have been sick, I have been watching various adaptations of Jane Austen films. Clueless was especially excellent on the day I coughed and hacked for hours and continually dozed off. (Not sure what character that would be like–I probably would rather not know.) And, after watching, numerous films, I have realized–no matter how I may *wish* to be Elizabeth Bennet. I am not.
In high school, I fancied myself a bit of a Marianne Dashwood. I was overly emotional and dramatic. Alas, however, that character is not me.
No, whether or like it or not, I do most resemble Emma Woodhouse. I suppose there are worse characters to be. Still, Emma is a bit spoiled, tends to be selfish, a bit frivolous, is frequently naive, and quick to judge others. Despite these flaws, however, Emma is the Jane Austen character with the happiest disposition, is extremely bright, social, and compassionate. She does love to be the center of attention. Hmm… That is me, all too often. And, try as I might, while generally quite happy, I all too often judge, care too much for fashion and other supposedly “frivolous” pursuits, and, despite the ups and downs of my life, have lived a much more privileged life than many. Though, unlike Emma, I do not have any inheritance of my own. (And in fact, I suppose I do have some more similarities to the Dashwood sisters in this respect–my family and I still feel the stings of the horrific 2008 economic downturn, but life before then was certainly more pleasant than most.)
Like Emma, I must endeavor to better myself and acknowledge and improve my flaws. And perhaps be a bit less of a matchmaker (my attempts have never gone well), less quick to judge others hastily, more judging of those who deserve to be judged, and more open to finding love in unlikely places. The truth hurts and, alas, Elizabeth Bennet I shall never be. Unless, of course, Elizabeth Bennet actually resembled Bridget Jones–then, I would stand a fighting chance. But, as that is no the case, Emma Woodhouse, it seems, I shall remain.
What Jane Austen character do you resemble?