Recently, my daughter achieved a life long goal (even though her life has only spanned 17 short years). She is playing the part of Elizabeth Bennett in a local youth theater. Shortly before her audition, I asked her which of the P & P characters she thought I was. Her answer? She said that I was Charlotte. I was insulted. She said that I shouldn’t be, saying how she admires my good common sense and practicability and the fact that I’m able to make decisions without being swayed by emotion. I was still insulted. After all, I wanted to be Elizabeth! It was then that I realized that every girl wants to be Elizabeth Bennett. So for this Friday Favorites, I’ve asked my daughter to write an essay on the matter.
Every woman wants to be Elizabeth Bennett. And when I say “every woman,” that does not exclude those unfamiliar with the story (although, shame on them). We are simply born wanting to be “Elizabethan” and are ever dissatisfied with ourselves when we prove to be otherwise. But why?! What does she have that we apparently don’t? I have compiled a list of five reasons why women so desperately want to be Elizabeth Bennett.
- Firstly, Darcy. Most women at least pretend that “only the deepest love will persuade [them] into matrimony.” But what woman doesn’t secretly hope that this love will be have estate-loads of cash to come with it? … Can I see a show of hands? That’s what I thought. In addition to wealth, Elizabeth wins the heart of a man who seems to be too proud and aloof as to lose his heart to anyone, and yet he declares himself madly in love with her. This is most advantageous, and in the end she experiences the best of both worlds; love and wealth.
- Secondly, she is entirely her own entity and people love her for it. She exudes an aura that is so confident, so comfortable, that she stands completely alone and people see her aside from her circumstances. They love her in spite of themselves. Even Lady Catherine, who had “never been thus treated in her entire life,” couldn’t help but secretly admire her, I think. We all wish we could have the courage to take off our painted masks and be adored in spite of our warts.
- Thirdly, she has the perfect best friend. Every woman needs another woman who will give ’em a good slap in the face when they need it (which they inevitably will). We need someone who will keep us honest and sensible when we betray ourselves in our ridiculousness. Elizabeth has a friend like this in Charlotte, and is a better woman for it. As a side note, she also has a loyal friend in her sister, Jane, and finds in her a person who believes the best of her in every situation.
- Fourthly, she gets the sweetest kind of revenge: revenge without the inconvenience of regret. She defies Caroline Bingley, Lady Catherine, Mr, Wickham, Mr. Collins, and they all must stand back and watch as she foils the odds and gets true love to boot. There is no better revenge than the kind that comes unintentionally, and Elizabeth certainly never plotted to have Darcy fall in love with her, but yet her heart leads her in a way that causes all of her enemies to rethink their Pride and Prejudice toward her and her “undesirable” background.
- Fifthly, and most importantly, the girl’s got moxy. With this purest form of estrogen coursing through her veins, she flouts the world and they fall prostrate before her. Every woman dreams of being so empowered. She responds with wit and intelligence, not having to look back on a conversation thinking, “If I would have been thinking, I could have said this!”
So there it is. That is why all girls want to be Elizabeth Bennett. We want the happy ending without the oblivious Disney disposition. We want to live perfectly with imperfect souls. But the ugly truth is that we are not all Elizabeth Bennett, nor could we feasibly be. Lizzies cannot exist without Charlottes, Lydias, Lady Catherines, and Miss Bingleys. So we all serve our purpose, I suppose.
Isn’t my daughter brilliant? So I want to know what literary character do you see yourself as? And why? Please leave your answer in the comment section!
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28 thoughts on “Why Every Girl Wants To Be Elizabeth Bennett – Friday Favorites (A Guest Post By My Daughter)”
This is a wonderful essay and every reason for wanting to be Elizabeth. I especially love your first and fourth reasons. Congratulations on playing the role of such an interesting character. A part of Elizabeth will always be with you.
Thank you! And yes, a part if Elizabeth will always be with me. Haha while doing a cold read of the script I actually started to tear up at the part where I got the letter about Lydia. I’m trying to decide if this connection is unnatural…
Great work, young lady! I think your reasons apply to so many of the great female characters (I’m thinking Jo for instance, from Little Women). Who didn’t want to be Jo? We all want to be memorable, and leave an impression. While I have to admit I am not a fan of P&P, therefore unfamiliar with the characters, I thoroughly enjoyed your guest post and can only imagine you did a fantastic job in the role.
Thank you! (although I haven’t played her yet, the show’s in May.) I agree about Jo!! Love her! She’s in my top three (the other two being Lizzy and Anne of Green Gables).
I enjoyed this post, being an avid Jane Austen fan myself. I have watched all the movies I can get my hands on and read most of the books. Elizabeth has never been my favorite character. I like to think of myself as Elinor Dashwood. I always am trying to please my family and do what is right. I often hold my feelings on the inside. Also, Elinor was patient in waiting for love. I didn’t really “date” until I started dating the man who became my husband when I was 25. I enjoyed finding your blog through the blog hop!
Love the Dashwoods! Elinor is a wee bit too reserved for me to emulate, but I adore her just the same. Never actually finished the book, but Emma Thompson is a genius.
The essay is wonderful. She is brilliant, certainly.
I think so, but I might be a little biased.
Why thank you! “brilliant”? I’m not so sure, but I like the British ring it has to it 🙂
I’ll stick to the genre and tell you I’m Dolly from Hello Dolly! Without a doubt. I like the room to move when I’m in it. And I like people to dote on me. And I can fake my way through the most uncomfortable situations.
That said, not everyone likes the Dollys of the world. We are attention mongers, and that does not always go over big with the ladies, which is probably why I have more men friends than women friends.
You daughter’s piece is great! Why don’t you share a link to HER blog? 😉
I keep telling her that she needs to start a blog, but with finishing her senior year, working part-time, and all of her extra-curricular activities, she doesn’t think she has the time. She will be majoring in English, but her real passion is editing and critiquing. She does NOT want to be a teacher. I’m so glad you and Leanne stopped by, I talk about you guys to my kids all of the time. Now she feels as though she has had a REAL English teacher read her work!
“Hello Dolly… It’s so nice to have you back where you belong.” love love love. I have a shrine for Barbara somewhere in the recesses of my soul. I also am one to clamor for attention. It’s glorious 🙂 and I also have more man friends than women. I despise women generally, but love them individually. Men are so much more sensible.
And yeah… I’ve no time for a blog at the moment…
I see myself as Colin Firth’s wife. Does that count? 😉
And fab writing. Moxy. Love it. I’m pretty sure you and your daughter have plenty of that.
Thanks Leaane! I talk about you and Renee often to my daughter, and thought she’d like to see what real English teachers thought of her writing… 🙂
Colin Firth?! Are you blooming mad?! Matthew MacFayden all the way!!
Moxy is a pretty grand word. And like I said, it is the purest form of estrogen 😉
Love it. I was just thinking today that I wanted to watch Pride and Prejudice. Great work!
Thank you! I know the whole film by heart 🙂
Exactly! I watch P&P whenever the mood strikes me, and I never get tired of it.
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What a great interview! Happy to say that I’ve found my Mr. Darcy :0) Congrats to your daughter in her excellent role! (visiting from Finding Joy)
Thanks for visiting Lauren! I’m glad you’re living happily ever after!
This is so true! More true than I care to admit, I’m afraid…
I was thrilled a few weeks ago when I discovered that I have the same personality type on the Myers Briggs as Anne (the one of Green Gables – wink). And we share the most unusual of Myers Briggs personality types! That just made my year. Then it made me wonder where my Gilbert has wandered off to.
Never forget that Ann(e) almost missed her Gilbert. He was right under her nose!
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