I was recently in the mood to watch ‘Austenland’ again for the third time, and so I thought it would be fitting to write a post about Jane Austen. She will always be my favorite classical romance writer, and though not all of her novels were amazing, *cough* ‘Northanger Abbey’ *cough*, the characters Jane came up with are each unique and special in their own right. Even though there are no badly written characters in any of her stories – or in the ones I’ve read/watched anyways – I will admit to admiring some characters more than others. So here’s my list:
1. Catherine Morland from ‘Northanger Abbey’
While I wasn’t exactly fond of Jane Austen’s first novel – I didn’t really see the point of the story – Catherine Morland was definitely a wonderfully written character. In fact, I’d say she’s a little bit like me. Her head is always in books, and her imagination is uncannily similar to mine. Every squeak and creak could be a monster hiding around the corner, and every glance her way from Henry Tilney is a sign of love, like it usually is in novels. She also has this obsession with being a heroine, and I’ll admit that when I was younger I probably expected the same from life. Reading about Catherine is kind of like looking in a mirror.
2. Jane Bennet from ‘Pride & Prejudice’
I loved Catherine because of her impulsiveness, but I adore Jane because she’s so…perfect. She’s the nicest, most composed female in the world, and she doesn’t scream or yell (unlike me). She always has her emotions under check, but it’s done unconsciously. And then of course there’s the fact that she’s supposedly really beautiful. I guess Jane is the sort of woman I’d strive to be. Everyone always says that Elizabeth Bennet is the perfect heroine, but I beg to differ.
3. Mr. Darcy from ‘Pride & Prejudice’
I know this is an obvious choice since I can’t think of a girl on Earth who hasn’t been in love with Mr. Darcy, but I love Mr. Darcy for more than his good looks and his wonderful romance toward Elizabeth. I really appreciate the fact that Jane Austen thought to write of a character who is standoffish and arrogant not because he necessarily wants to be, but because he is shy and socially awkward. Why I say this because I’m kind of in the same boat. I’m not the best at making new friends, and I kind of suck at small talk. Also, I don’t really speak much at social gatherings since I don’t know many people, and I probably come off as, well, rude. That, more than anything is why Mr. Darcy is one of my favorite characters…okay I’ll admit it, I may love him most for his general awesomeness.
4. Mr. Knightley from ‘Emma’
I never actually read ‘Emma’ – it’s a pretty big book, after all – but I have watched the BBC four-part adaptation, and I fell in love instantly. In fact, I think there was a period of my life where I was trying to decide whether I liked Mr. Knightley more or Mr. Darcy more. I’m not quite sure I’ve come up with an answer yet. However, that does bring back the memory of me daydreaming about Mr. Knightley during an AP Bio test…embarrassing, I know, but what can I say? I loved Mr. Knightley because he had strong moral standing, and he was never afraid to correct Emma whenever she did something wrong. And even though he knew about all her many, many faults, he still loved her. And his attempt at a proposal at the end of the series? Adorable!
5. Anne Elliot from ‘Persuasion’
Similar to how Mr. Knightley is an equal to Mr. Darcy, ‘Persuasion’ is an equal to “Pride & Prejudice’. In fact, it’s entirely possible that I may actually like ‘Persuasion’ more. And Anne…she is the heroine I’ve always dreamed of reading about. She’s not forward but shy, and she accepts her mistakes. When she was young, she acted on some bad advice given to her by a dear neighbor, and though she’s regretted her decision dearly, she doesn’t expect anything good, and indeed does her best to stay out of her ex-fiance’s way. I think I like her best out of ALL of Jane Austen’s books because she is the most like me. She’s forgiving, quiet, and kind. She holds no grudges and keeps her desires to herself. She is the type of selfless person I’d like to be. I read her story, and watched two different film versions of it, and loved Anne every time. She’s my hero(ine).