Top #5 Strong Female Characters on Jane Austen's Books

You have probably heard before about the Pride and Prejudice novel or how the books of Jane Austen are inspirational and ahead of their time - especially because they presents ideas and speeches that were in a certain way, "audacious" and authentic for a lady in the London of 1800. In your stories, the female characters are mostly strong women. These heroins usually demonstrate their insights and intelligence through small details of their personalities, even in a very simple context of the rural life that preceded the Victorian Era.

Below, see some of Austen's most memorable female characters and what they represent until today.

  1. 1.   Elizabeth Bennet, "Pride and Prejudice"

    Elizabeth, or Lizzie, is the heart and soul of the Pride and Prejudice book. She’s funny, smart and bold. During the plot, her conversations with the unattainable Mr. Darcy shows us how strong she feels about her determination, even when are feelings involved. Besides that, all of her answers are perceptive and sarcastic just in the right amount.

    She loves her family, but not gives up of her individuality to do her parents wishes. In a time like the one she was living, refuse to get married was an attitude that required courage and independence, and Lizzie teaches us how important the simplicity of our roots are.

    "Only the deepest love will persuade me into matrimony, which is why I will end up an old maid."  (Pride and Prejudice, 1813) 

  2. 2.   Anne Elliot, "Persuasion"

    The protagonist of Persuasion, Anne Elliot, features a more soft personality than Elizabeth - but definitely not less brave or intelligent. Very different of your dad and sister, Anne is a calm women that always put others desires in first place. This characteristic causes the principal decision of the story and it is also the reason of your suffering in the beginning of the book. In the other hand, she has a kind and beautiful heart, help the ones who needs her and never corrupts herself for ambition or luxury.

    The love for literature and poetry incentives her to have a rich repertoire for great conversations and this sustain very nice relationships.

    “Does not love a place less because it has suffered in it, unless there has been only suffering, nothing but suffering.” (Persuasion,1817)

  3. 3.    Emma Woodhouse, "Emma"

    For sure, Emma is the most controversial heroin created by Jane Austen. Different from the other two, she’s not poor or simple. Born in a wealthy family and aware of her beauty and qualities, she has a interesting hobby: to set couples up by playing cupid. 

    Emma, ​​at first, does not give a lot of importance to her own romantic feelings, believing that they are not your priority. However, over the course of the book, she shows her maturity and concern for people who are not favored as she is, using her strong and resolute personality to learn with her own decisions. 

    “I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.” (Emma,1815)

  4. 4.  Elinor Dashwood, "Sense and Sensibility"

    Elinor is the type of person who is down to earth, in spite of every situation. Besides helping your mother and sister in everything that she can with calm and control, with your keen wisdom she - indirectly - takes care of the most part of the family business.

    Elinor represents the “sense” (reference to the title of the book) and has a more logical and rational way of doing things. In the opposite of the other sister, Marianne, who is more sensitive. But, truth to be said, Elinor also has a warm heart and is loyal to those she love and what she believes in.

    “And sometimes I have kept my feelings to myself, because I could find no language to describe them in.” (Sense and Sensibility,1811)

  5. 5. Catherine Morland, "Northanger Abbey"

    Curious, adventurous and a bookworm. These words can accurate describe Catherine Morland, a young lady who is in love with gothic novels. She imagines a life like the ones that she reads in her books and is always looking for a new mystery (or anything weird, really) to investigate.

    Taking place in Northanger Abbey, Catherine is constantly conspiring that the house where she lives is haunted. But, in the best moment of your youth, she is also discovering talents and the meaning of real life. Brave and smart, Cat is one of the most young characters made by Austen, but definitely any more less unique.

    “When a young lady is to be a heroine, the perverseness of forty surrounding families cannot prevent her. Something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way.” (Northanger Abbey,1817)

It’s not hard to find inspiration in such strong women created by Austen, specially when you stop to think of the time when writing was an activity encouraged only for men. Jane show us that even in a simple life, with excruciating limits, we can always find a way to be brave and exceptional. Her legacy and words still remain until this day, and her literary work still will go encouraging women from different decades for a long, long time.


The article above was edited by Laura Ferrazzano. 

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