Jane Austen Heroines Ranked in Order by How Much I Want to Be Them

Written by Madalyn Campbell

  1. Fanny Price (Mansfield Park)

How can I want to be Fanny Price when I am already Fanny Price? She worries a lot, has horrible self-esteem, is too hard on herself, but is also terribly judgmental. She wallows in her own misery, is applauded as a sweet girl, but is often judging others harshly. Fanny really stands apart from Austen’s other heroines, and I love her for it, but you can’t strive to be like someone you already are.

  1. Catherine Morland (Northanger Abbey)

Again, how can I want to be Catherine when I already am so similar to her, though maybe not as close as I’d want. Catherine is in love with a world that is far more interesting than the one she’s living in. She skips through pages of the Gothic, becoming the heroine of her own Gothic horror. She is naïve and easily trusting. Like her, I wish I could be the heroine of some great tale, I wish I could be her!

  1. Elinor Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility)

You can debate whether Elinor is the sole heroine of Sense and Sensibility or if her sister Marianne shares that spot. I’m already similar enough to Marianne, obsessed with emotions and tending to wallow in my own grief. Elinor, on the other hand, has a great control of her emotions. I’d love to be able to be calm and collected in challenging situations. Elinor can put aside her emotions and carry on for those she loves. She also is just extremely cool in general.

  1. Emma Woodhouse (Emma)

Ah, Emma. She carries herself with such confidence and poise for someone who makes a lot of mistakes. But, she doesn’t see her mistakes as mistakes! I wish I could have the fashion and taste Emma has. I also wish I could grow as a person through trials and tribulations involving match-making and secret affairs that aren’t actually there. Emma manages to grow tremendously; I can only hope someday I follow in her footsteps.

  1. Anne Elliot (Persuasion)

Anne loved and lost, then loved again. She wants to be usefulë—that is her main goal in life, to be useful and wanted. Anne held onto a lover for over eight years, and in the end was reunited with him. Through her patience and hope, she found her happy ending. I wish I could be as patient and caring as she is.

  1. Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice)

If you clicked on this list with the thought, “Elizabeth is going to be number one,” then congratulations, you were absolutely correct. Who doesn’t want to be Elizabeth Bennet? She’s cool, funny, smart and witty. She has a lighthearted sense of humor while being fiercely loyal to the ones she loves. She also accepts and grows from her mistakes. Elizabeth really is the perfect heroine. I wish I was as charming as her. Also, she marries Mr. Darcy, which is a good bonus honestly.

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