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Sunday, November 7

Jane Austen Character Throwdown

Two of Jane Austen's heroines have been on my mind lately. Known for their restraint, they must bear their burdens silently before love comes knocking at their door.

Elinor Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility: Poor Elinor. Not only did she have to endure her sister, Marianne's, histrionic outpouring of grief over her loss of Willoughby, but she had to offer her support while keeping Edward Ferrar's engagement to Lucy Steele a secret. Lucy, a creepy and manipulative woman if ever there was one, targeted Elinor as her confidante on purpose, repeatedly pouring salt in the wound as she shared secrets that Elinor was honor bound to keep to herself. Not only did Elinor bear her sorrow silently as Marianne accused her of a lack of romantic feeling, but even her ally, Colonel Brandon, caused her great pain by asking her to inform Edward in person of Colonel Brandon's gift to him of a living at the parsonage at Delaford. While Elinor's heart was breaking, she had to tell Edward that he now had the means to marry Lucy.

Anne Elliot, Persuasion: Long-suffering Anne. For seven years she has regretted her decision to break off her relationship with Captain Wentworth at the urging of Lady Russell, who meant well. For seven years, her spirits have flagged, even as she lost her bloom. Suddenly he walks into her life, rich, successful, and handsome, and begins to court the Musgrove Sisters. Anne endures the situation in silence, not realizing that the Captain, while still mad with her, is in equal agony. With no one to turn to, not her selfish sister Mary, not her arrogant father and older sister Elizabeth, not even her good friend Lady Russell, Anne must endure the presence of the handsome captain, knowing she has lost him and that he will belong to someone else soon.

Gentle readers, for which lady does your heart ache more? Elinor or Anne?

For which Jane Austen heroine does your heart ache more?
Long suffering Elinor Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility
Long suffering Anne Elliot, Persuasion free polls


Anonymous said...

Making a selection was very difficult, but I'd say that seven years of misery trump a few months! (And Anne is my favourite Austen character.)

Heather Carroll said...

I agree this was very difficult to decide. In the end I went for Anne, whose suffering was, in a large part, guilt. Wentworth also wanted her to feel pain such as she caused him.

Enid Wilson said...

Definitely Anne Elliot. Not only did she suffer for years, she also had to witness the Captain initial coldness when he returned to her life. Just thinking about it make my eyes teary.

My Darcy Mutates

Nonna Beach said...

No contest...Anne !!! I believe Capt. Wentworth was testing Anne with aloofness by seeing how she would react to his interests in the other girls. She was angry with herself for refusing him years before but still mustered the courage to show him she loved him still...made their ultimate reunion twice as sweet !

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Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

While my heart does go out to Elinor, as she is one of my favorite characters, I had to pick Anne. At least Elinor has two loving sisters and a loving mother. Anne's sister and father are horrible!