Anne Elliot - Persuasion 2007
Anne Elliot, the protagonist of Persuasion, is, like most Austen heroines, witty, clever, and considerate. Austen referred to her in one of her letters as “a heroine who is almost too good for me.” Though Austen very frankly notes that the bloom of youth has left Anne, and that she is not the prettiest of the young ladies in the novel, Anne becomes most decidedly more attractive when her better qualities are noted. Anne is proud of her appearance, and she is deeply hurt after overhearing that Captain Wentworth thinks her appearance much changed for the worst. Unlike her father, Anne also takes pride in practicality, intellect, and patience.
Anne is feminine while possessing none of what Austen clearly sees as the negative characteristics of her gender; Anne is neither catty, flighty, nor hysterical. On the contrary, she is level-headed in difficult situations and constant in her affections. Such qualities make her the desirable sister to marry; she is the first choice of Charles Musgrove, Captain Wentworth, and Mr. Elliot.
That Anne has her own mind is clear from the way she rebels against the vanity of her father and elder sister. But Anne is not one to avoid her responsibility and duty as a member of the upper class. She understands and respects the importance of making a “suitable” match, and is offended by the prospect of someone as low as Mrs. Clay entering into her family through marriage. She is conscious of the social structure in which her relations operate, and though she may seek a bit more flexibility, she by no means wishes to seriously challenge notions of class.
In the end, Anne concludes that she is right to have been persuaded by Lady Russell, even if the advice itself was misguided. The conclusion implies that what might be considered Anne’s flaw, her ability to be persuaded by others, is not really a flaw at all. It is left to the reader to agree or disagree with this. But overall, she must be highly regarded; for in her respect for duty and with an independent mind, Anne balances passion and practicality.
Mr Elliot - Persuasion 2007
Mr. Elliot became estranged from the family when he wed a woman of much lower social rank for her fortune, though Sir Walter and Elizabeth had hoped William would marry Elizabeth Elliot. He is now a widower, and (wanting very much to inherit the title) he mends the rupture in order to keep an eye on the ambitious Mrs. Clay. If Sir Walter married her, William’s inheritance would be endangered. When Mr. Elliot meets Anne by accident, his interest is piqued: if he could marry Anne his title and inheritance likely would be secured. Rumors circulate that Anne and he are engaged
Personally I just think he is a dick!
Colonel Christopher Brandon - Sense And Sensibility 2008
A close friend of Sir John Middleton. In his youth, Brandon had fallen in love with his father’s ward, but was prevented by his family from marrying her because his father was determined to marry her to his older brother. He was sent into the military abroad to be away from her, and while gone, the girl suffered numerous misfortunes partly as a consequence of her unhappy marriage, finally dying penniless and disgraced, and with a natural (i.e., illegitimate) daughter, who becomes the ward of the Colonel. He is 35 years old at the beginning of the book. He falls in love with Marianne at first sight as she reminds him of his father’s ward. He is a very honorable friend to the Dashwoods, particularly Elinor, and offers Edward Ferrars a living after Edward is disowned by his mother.
Willoughby - Sense And Sensibility 2008
John Willoughby is the dashing and handsome romantic interest of Marianne Dashwood. He conforms exactly to her idea of love and, at twenty-five, is much younger than Colonel Brandon. He appears out of nowhere to rescue her from distress and then proceeds to sweep her off her feet. He has impassioned views on art that conform with Marianne’s exactly. However, he is also a callous womanizer who left one woman in a dire predicament and who immediately begins to see other women after separating from Marianne. He must also rely on a good marriage to procure his fortune.
The Miss Steele - Sense and Sensibility 2008
- Lucy Steele — a young, distant relation of Mrs. Jennings, who has for some time been secretly engaged to Edward Ferrars. She assiduously cultivates the friendship with Elinor Dashwood and Mrs John Dashwood. Limited in formal education and financial means, she is nonetheless attractive, clever, manipulative, cunning and scheming.
- Anne/Nancy Steele — Lucy Steele’s elder, socially inept, and less clever sister.
Elinor and Marianne Dashwood - Sense and Sensibility 2008
Elinor Dashwood — the sensible and reserved eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood. She is 19 years old at the beginning of the book. She becomes attached to Edward Ferrars, the brother-in-law of her elder half-brother, John. Always feeling a keen sense of responsibility to her family and friends, she places their welfare and interests above her own, and suppresses her own strong emotions in a way that leads others to think she is indifferent or cold-hearted.
Marianne Dashwood — the romantically inclined and eagerly expressive second daughter of Mr and Mrs Henry Dashwood. She is 16 years old at the beginning of the book. She is the object of the attentions of Colonel Brandon and Mr. Willoughby. She is attracted to young, handsome, romantically spirited Willoughby and does not think much of the older, more reserved Colonel Brandon. Marianne undergoes the most development within the book, learning her sensibilities have been selfish. She decides her conduct should be more like that of her elder sister, Elinor.
Mr Collins - Pride and Prejudice 1995
William Collins, aged 25, is Mr Bennet’s clergyman cousin and heir to his estate. He is “not a sensible man, and the deficiency of nature had been but little assisted by education or society.” Mr Collins is obsequious, pompous, and lacking in common sense. Elizabeth’s rejection of Mr Collins’s marriage proposal is welcomed by her father, regardless of the financial benefit to the family of such a match. Mr Collins then marries Elizabeth’s friend, Charlotte Lucas.
Fanny Dashwood - Sense and Sensibility 2008
The wife of John Dashwood, and sister to Edward and Robert Ferrars. She is vain, selfish, and snobbish. She spoils her son Harry. Very harsh to her husband’s half-sisters and stepmother, especially since she fears her brother Edward is attached to Elinor.
Henry Tilney - Northanger Abbey 2007
A well-read clergyman in his mid-20s, the younger son of the wealthy Tilney family. He is Catherine’s romantic interest throughout the novel, and during the course of the plot he comes to return her feelings. He is sarcastic, intuitive, and clever, given to witticisms and light flirtations (which Catherine is not always able to understand or reciprocate in kind), but he also has a sympathetic nature (he is a good brother to Eleanor), which leads him to take a liking to Catherine’s naïve straightforward sincerity.
Catherine Morland - Northanger Abbey 2007
When Catherine Morland is given the opportunity to stay with the childless Allen family in Bath, she is hoping for an adventure of the type she has been reading in novels. Soon introduced to society, she meets Isabella Thorpe and her brother John, a good friend of her own brother, James. She also meets Henry Tilney, a handsome young man from a good family and his sister, Eleanor. Invited to visit the Tilney estate, Northanger Abbey, she has thoughts of romance but soon learns that status, class and money are all equally important when it comes to matters of the heart.