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Sunday, December 5

Jane Austen Character Throwdown

Three characters in Jane Austen's novels are seventeen when their stories begin: Marianne Dashwood, Kitty Bennet, and Catherine Morland. In your estimation, which of the three girls will grow into the sort of mature woman you would like to befriend?

Kitty Bennet, at age 17, follows her younger sister, Lydia, who at 15 is flighty and silly and dangerously reckless. After Lydia runs off with Wickham, forcing a shotgun marriage, the Bennets oversee Kitty's upbringing more closely. After Jane and Elizabeth marry, they teach Kitty better social graces and provide a world for her outside of Meryton.She eventually settles down and demonstrates a modicum of common sense.

Catherine Morland prefers to roll down hillsides rather than pursue the ladylike activities of sewing, learning foreign languages, painting, or reading anything more strenuous than novels! Henry Tilney is charmed by her artless ignorance and enthusiastic preference for his company. Young as Catherine is, she is no dummy, seeing through General Tilney and John Thorpe. After the general banishes her from Northanger Abbey, she demonstrates a great deal of courage, integrity, and maturity.

Marianne Dashwood's uber romantic sensibilities blind her to Colonel Brandon's superior qualities and Willoughby's less than sterling ones. She not only survive love's disappointment but she slowly comes to the realization that her own behavior led her down the wrong path of romance. After her illness, she begins to open up to Colonel Brandon, and allows herself to fall in love with someone she has learned to esteem.

Which of these 17-year-old Jane Austen heroines will grow into the sort of woman you would like to befriend?
Kitty Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey
Marianne Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility free polls


Miss Laurie said...

Catherine will make a "headless young housekeeper" to be sure but she will be a loving and sensible mother like her mother before her. I think she shows great possibilities at the end of the book of maturing and becoming more like dear Eleanor Tilney.
I love Catherine dearly and would love to spend time with her in her world! :)

Kristin said...

I voted for Marianne, but it was a tie between her and Catherine Morland.

I think it would take years of help from Lizzie and Jane to undo the damage that Lydia had done to Kitty. :)

Eliza Martin said...

As I was reading this post, all I could think of was "You are 16, going on 17..."

Connie Onnie said...

My only sister is also my younger sister who when younger was very much a Marianne. And as she grew and matured she did not loose her enthusiasm for life, which is very contagious. I love her very much.