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Thread: "Equivalent" characters in Austen's novels?

  1. #1

    "Equivalent" characters in Austen's novels?

    I thought it might be interesting to draw parallels between Austen's various characters, comical or not. Do you consider Mr Collins to P&P what Mrs Elton is to Emma? Mrs Bennet and Mr Woodhouse? Edward Bertram and Mr Knightley? I'd be interested to know what people think. Obviously no two characters are the same, but what similarities do you see?

  2. #2
    Wickham and Willoughby I think are the most obvious. They are practically interchangable.

  3. #3
    Yeah, Wickham and Willoughby are "practically interchangable"--great point! I also think that Elizabeth Bennet and Elinor Dashwood are pretty similar in their stubborness to stick to their ideals, even at the risk of losing Darcy and Edward. Emma Woodhouse could also be thrown into this mix when thinking about her relationship to Mr. Knightley. Austen plays with this idea of a superiority complex that comically threatens to supercede honest emotion and common sense. I think her novels are fantastic!

  4. #4
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    "Yeah, Wickham and Willoughby are "practically interchangable"

    And Frank Churchill and John Thorpe, they are all romantic dead ends for our heroines. They are all not quite honest, but Churchill is saved by coming into money in the nick of time.

    Lydia Bennett and Isabella Thorpe. Obvious I know, both flighty and flirty. Though Lydia is less calculating.
    Last edited by prendrelemick; 01-14-2013 at 05:01 AM.
    ay up

  5. #5
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
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    ooo, interesting.

    I don't think a Frank Churchill is as full of himself as John Thorpe is. The latter is practically an empty box with a big gob (sorry) and annoying at that (as all of such people are). Frank Churchill never does anything that is untoward unless it is in people's minds. It is practically a foregone conclusion that he is naturally going to court Emma Woodhouse (who else), no-one even gives it a thought he might prefer someone else. Hohum...
    Mr Crawford is a bit like both, but with John Thorpe you know he's dishonest and with Churchill you know he's kind of cute. Crawford sways from nasty b*stard to 'maybe OK, he's changing his ways' to 'hmm, probably it's good SPOILER ALERT MANSFIELD PARK Fanny didn't say yes SPOILER OVER. I'm still not out of it whether the end of that story was really because he was a bad man anyway, or because he was desperate.

    I picture Frank Churchill and Henry Tilney together: both charming and gentle men, although maybe given to rashness when necessary. Eleanor Tilney I think is rather similar to Georgiana Darcy: gentle and shy, but intelligent and sadly not left to determine their own lives. You could also see Jane Bennet like that.

    You could call Captain Frederick Tilney an earlier Wickham.

    Isabella Thorpe and Caroline Bingley: two-faced nast women. Too much occupied with class. Come to think of it, add Mrs Dashwood Jr to that row, she's rather nasty.

    Edward Ferrars and Edward Bertram are rather similar. Both a bit slow.

    I see Captain Wentworth and Darcy as a bit similar. Though Darcy needs to change his thinking process to become worthy of Lizzy, Wentworeth admits he was kind of proud and didn't want to know anymore. They confess their errors.
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'me ne se vide ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scne VII)

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