I picked up “P&P” again last week in preparation for Let’s Talk About Jane (a sort of “Jane Austen-101” program that I host at my local library).
We’re set to discuss the heroines within Austen’s novels — with Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice topping the list.
What is it about Elizabeth that makes her so appealing?
What makes a great literary heroine?
I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s several character traits: honesty, a sacrificial nature, and the courage to speak-up for what is right.
No heroine starts out perfect. She matures and learns as her story progresses through personal conflict.
She is usually — like all of us — flawed.
Yeah, that’s right. Flawed. We’re all flawed. Stop kidding yourself if you think you’re an exception.
We’re all (heroes and heroines alike) just living out our own stories, through the pain, through the confusion, through the prejudices that surround us and trying to make some sense of it all.
We try to make the right decisions; to do what it is our conscience is telling us to do; to do what we believe is fair and good….what we believe God wants us to do.
And then, we screw it up! And…boom! We’ve written our own story.
But, a heroine learns from her mistakes. She goes through a process of self-discovery.
Just like Elizabeth Bennet who has her own fine moment of self-discovery when she asserts “Till this moment, I never knew myself.”
It’s a wonderful moment.
So, may we all have moments of self-discovery. And may we all be heroines (and heroes) in our own lives — via honesty, goodness and truth — as we live out our own stories.
(The party continues. Remember to visit the Pride and Prejudice Party Hop blog to read more from Janeites all over the globe).
“One cannot have too large a party.”