Pride and Prejudice Pride and Prejudice discussion


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Jane Sucks...

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message 1: by Elizabeth (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elizabeth I read the review about Jane being lame and it made me laugh. She IS kind of the Pollyanna of the book. What did you guys think?


message 2: by Courtney (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Courtney First off, I have to say that I love this feature! I think we should pick a book and read it at the same time and then discuss! (or maybe I'm lame like Jane). ;-)

Second, "suck" and "lame" are pretty strong condemnations, methinks. She is kind,loving, and sweet, but not lame. She's kind of a contrast to Lizzy's character.


message 3: by Otis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Otis Chandler If you like discussion boards, you'll love the bookclub feature that's coming soon that will also incorporate them!

My two cents are that Jane was a pretty shallow character. We never learned much about her other than that she liked Bingley. And shallow characters *could* be called lame...


message 4: by Elizabeth (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elizabeth Coutney you ARE a nerd! Okay, I'm a nerd too, what do you want to read?


message 5: by Courtney (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Courtney I'm not sure. Have you heard of any good ones that you've been meaning to read? I'll scope my "to-read" list.


message 6: by Bryan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bryan I'll agree that Jane wasn't the most likeable character, but she felt real to me. And I am a big fan of Austen and love this book.


message 7: by Louise (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Louise Emm... Maybe it's my personal opinion but for me Jane was not the focus of the book. I rather have ONE charecter being developed totally than having every one of them semi-developed ones


message 8: by Stella (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:49AM) (new)

Stella Can i just say THANK YOU!!!!!! i'm glad to see im not the only one that feels that way! I'm not a big of Jane or the author either. I prefer Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre.


message 9: by Antartica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:49AM) (new)

Antartica I love Lizzy Bennet with a vengeance; i. e. Jane IS lame ...


message 10: by Anthony (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:49AM) (new)

Anthony That seemed to be Jane's whole purpose in the book, though. Most of the other Bennetts had really strong, distinct personalities that led them into whatever adventures or catastrophes. Jane was just a bland woman who was sort of likeable and not savvy or worldly enough to realize when Bingley's sister and Darcy were interfering with her relationship. It gave Lizzy something else to be angry about, too.


message 11: by Elizabeth (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elizabeth Did anyone else think that Jane in the BBC version looked like a Michaelangelo drawing of a woman? I remember always thinking that she had a very muscular neck. (This probably isn't very nice, but I couldn't help but stare at it whenever she was onscreen).


message 12: by Clarissa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Clarissa jane lame? a harsh word, and especially by todays standards absolutely, but at the same time she is very solid and that I think is her purpose in the book. Kind of the constant oxygen to Elizabeth's flame.


message 13: by Tracy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tracy Rhodes Jane's definitely sort of a milquetoast kind of gal; but I've known plenty like her in real life, so her personality never struck me as odd. She's sort of a calm port in the storm for Lizzy's more energetic, type-A persona. I think they're complementary in that sense, which is part of why Lizzy loves her the best of all her sisters. Jane's older and more conventionally beautiful, both of which in their society gave her a big advantage; but because Jane's also so passive and sweet, and Lizzy's so vibrant and clever, Lizzy gets cachet out of being her sister's protector and sole confidant. Maybe Austen had a similar relationship with her real-life elder sister, Cassandra?


message 14: by Joy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joy Characters like Jane show up in Austen's other works. There's a similar character in Emma and in Persuasion.


message 15: by Heather (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Heather I thought the same thing! My sister and I always said she wasn't pretty enough for the description of her character in the book. The Jane in the newer version with Keira Knightley was much better.


message 16: by Nasrin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:56AM) (new)

Nasrin I've read Pride n Prjudice so many times...i like Lizzy personality...she is wise girl who can think well n do well n has good reaction in different situations.Jane Austen has very beautiful sentences in this book


message 17: by Subversified (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:40AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Subversified She is a sort of archetype in these novels. If you'd like to see what the Jane character looks like when it's more developed, read Persuasion. In that book, the author takes the quiet, reserved woman as the main character instead of the spunky one - and manages to make you love her as well. (imho)


message 18: by Letitia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:03PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Letitia From what I have read/heard, Jane was meant to be a tribute to Austen's own sister, to whom she was very close. If the description of Jane Bennett seems a trifle idealized, it is likely due to Austen's adoration of her sibling. I felt we saw Jane through Elizabeth's eyes, and to Lizzy she was that nearly perfect paragon. I viewed it as a literary device rather than a weakness in character development.


message 19: by Rachel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:09PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rachel Wagner Did you know that the actress was pregnant during the shoot? That is why she had such high waisted dresses with sashes and frills.


message 20: by Rachel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:09PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rachel Wagner I have been wanting to read North and South. Have you read Wives and Daughters? If you like Austan than it is right up your ally. At least I loved it. George Elliot is more tragic but also very good- Silas Marner or Adam Bede.


message 21: by Dianna (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:22PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Dianna If you want to piss off Jane Austen fans spell her name wrong. lol I wrote that I couldn't stand Jane AustIn on the discussion about "books I loathed" and one admiring fan needed to inform me of what I did. (yes, the dirty deed was done quite some time ago but I have just been informed today on the public forum no less. I am so ashamed.) I really did not mean to spell her name wrong but I did actually look up Dostoyevsky and Ayn Rand so as not to spell their names wrong and did not look up her name. That tells you how little respect she gets from me.


message 22: by Jacki (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:45PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jacki I agrre with courtney there is nothin that wrong with her


Clare HOW COULD ANYONE NOT LIKE JANE AUSTEN. I LOVE HER BOOKS!


message 24: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne I agree completely, Clare. Austen is one of the few authors that I reread. I have no idea how anyone could not like her :)


message 25: by Iris (new) - rated it 5 stars

Iris I totally agree with you Letitia, but I wish we go to know more of Jane. Her and Bingley's story is too simple for a novel because they fell and love whereas Lizzie's and Darcy's was rocky and a love/hate one. She is a good person. Maybe thats why, she was so perfect. But Jane drew her as an admirable, virtuous character. Maybe people think she's lame b/c there was no two sides, she was who you saw. People like deeper characters with both admirable and not so admirable characteristics. She has no other side so you end up asking "what else" or is she real. Personally, I liked her role in the book because her perfect character and romance contrasted Lizzie, who we adore but sometimes just wanted to shake her. There is a modern version of Pride and Prejudice and Darcy is a producer and Elizabeth is journalist who gets the role of Lizzie in the play and her sister is an actress. I haven't read all but from what I heard is Jane was the nice, gorgeous one who always needed a boyfriend, very traditional and Dependant, compared to a more independent Lizzie.


message 26: by Ed (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ed I Thought I had posted this comment before. If anyone is interested in understanding the "spirit" of P & P, I recommend the 1995 BBC mini-series starring Colin Firth and Jane Ehle. It does some things the book could not do, hindsight being 20-20.


Daria I absolutly love this book and i do agree that jane was not that stable but in the end i feel she turned out to be a good judge of charecter


Leslie Ed--I agree with you on the BBC mini-series! INfact...I think that's the best Colin Firth has ever been!!! (Although I must admit I loved him in Mama Mia.)




Jason I thought Jane would be lost if their wasn't a clear cut path for her in life. Elizabeth was more daring in poking fun at accepted institutions.


message 30: by Lara (new) - added it

Lara COMPLETELY 100% agree!


Daniel Pinto I AGREE! Awful.


Gabrielle Jane is a perfect lady. Someone everyone should strive to be. She's kind, loving, welcoming, uncondemning, sweet, trustworthy.


Robin Jane was not one of the most developed characters in the book, there seemed to be more of a Lizzie, and every other sister, and every once in a while Jane would come on the scene.


message 34: by Lily (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily Gabrielle wrote: "Jane is a perfect lady. Someone everyone should strive to be...."

Maybe. Not sure I agree. I liked the comments in Annotated Pride and Prejudice and I believe those by the director of the BBC film (I may be making the wrong attribution at this point) on some of the short comings of Jane's trusting, think-well-of-everyone personality. They were sort of an interesting commentary on the tensions between "ideal" perfection and real-world effectiveness.


Willi This is my favorite book of all time!! Years after I read it over and over again, I watched the A & E presentation of it with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth and it was sooo real to me. Now I have the series and watch it over and over again because these actors ARE Lizzie and Darcy. Jane is a doll, Bingley is a sweetie and the cousin, Mr. Collins is totally HILARIOUS!!


Sapphirewine I always thought that Jane was meant to be a bit of a caricature of what women were expected to be in the era. Lizzie on the other hand I felt was a character based on either the author or someone she knew.


Robin I guess Lizzie was the most boisterous of the bunch, with all of Mrs. Bennet's histrionics and the father placating her. It is any wonder that any of the girls got married. I guess that was the bottom line of the book, to marry successfully. That is what was Mrs. Bennet's worry.


message 38: by Lily (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily Robin wrote: "...I guess that was the bottom line of the book, to marry successfully. That is what was Mrs. Bennet's worry."

That is one straight forward assessment of Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice. I used to think very, very little of the broader social climate and issues was treated. But, reading with The Annotated Pride and Prejudice and listening to producers talking about its filming have helped me see how much more is embedded in these novels, like the impact of the Napoleonic conflicts and of the social structures of clergy and aristocracy. Mr. Bennet is as interesting a study of parental responsibility as his wife, and they are contrasted with the Gardiners.


Robin So true, one could get mired in all the historical significant events that was going on at the time. I should read Annotated Pride and Prejudice sounds like a good read, no pun intended.


message 40: by Pola (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pola I like Jane's character although I think she is very naive... At first I thought that Jane in Pride and Prejudice was a reflection to Jane Austen's character. However, I am reading her biography these days and I find it remarkable that a woman her age and back then would do whatever she liked.. And by this I mean her devotion to writing and thus rejecting a marriage offer and remain without a husband or children until the end of her life. So, I really don't think anymore that the Jane of the book reflects Jane the writer.. The first would never be able to do something like that.. What do you think?


Robin Never thought of it quite like you posted, but she did go against the conventions of the time. And she was writing of people being married of in one form or another. She must have personally known some people like Pride and Prejudice in that, maybe that turned her off of marriage. She was quite contemporary in her thinking. Definitely someone ahead of her time. Good thoughts, Pola.:D


message 42: by Pola (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pola Robin wrote: "Never thought of it quite like you posted, but she did go against the conventions of the time. And she was writing of people being married of in one form or another. She must have personally know..."

thanks a lot Robin. I, too agree with your statement. I like to think of her as a strong and unconventional character.. maybe because i really loved pride and prejudice.. both the book and the movie adaptation..:D


message 43: by Mickey (last edited Apr 23, 2011 07:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mickey I think how a modern audience reacts to characters like Jane Bennett (as someone who embodies the virtues of a different era) illustrates how the characteristics of the "ideal woman" have changed over time. In my opinion, men have not gone through a similar revolution. As modern readers, we value Elizabeth's strength, independence, and impertinence. Even her rush to judgement about Darcy and Wickham, which gives her such a painful epiphany in the story doesn't register as a major failing to us. When contrasted in the story with Jane's refusal to believe anything negative about others (which we're inclined to see as pure childishness on her part), Elizabeth praises Jane and sincerely wishes she could be like that.

We bring our own modern values to the books that we read and judge them according to what's considered ideal in our time, which is why we prefer a character like Elizabeth to someone like Jane. However, Elizabeth in the story is criticized for many of the same characteristics we find so endearing. She also criticizes herself and considers them failings. I think when it was newly published, it would be viewed as closer to Northanger Abbey and Emma, where the main character must learn a hard lesson about herself. Now, I think her rush to pre-judge is seen as no more than a plot device to keep us in sweet anticipation of the Darcy/Elizabeth pairing.


Sapphirewine Mickey wrote: "I think how a modern audience reacts to characters like Jane Bennett (as someone who embodies the virtues of a different era) illustrates how the characteristics of the "ideal woman" have changed o..."

I've never heard it better said. :)


message 45: by Pola (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pola Mickey wrote: "I think how a modern audience reacts to characters like Jane Bennett (as someone who embodies the virtues of a different era) illustrates how the characteristics of the "ideal woman" have changed o..."

a very nice perspective! well said!!!


Robin Yes we do bring our modern sensibilities to the books we read, because that is our mindset. But for someone like Jane Austen to write about a person who sounds quite contemporary is kind of fascinating in that she wrote in a vastly different time than ours. I give her credit for doing that and in becoming a writer in the first place.


Vittoria I always thought that Bingley and Jane deserved each other. I wouldn't describe them as lame, I simply consider them to be rather passive characters. They never take a stand and fight for what they want, but are lead and easily swayed by circumstances and people, by expectations and their roles in society. I always saw them as shallow and not very bright, albeit good persons. They were physically attracted to each other and were looking for comfort and validation. They found it in each other (were manoeuvered into it) and good for them!


message 48: by Mickey (last edited Apr 15, 2011 05:48PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mickey A few days ago, I was skimming through Gone with the Wind and I was struck by the similarities between Jane Bennett and Melanie Wilkes. Both had the traditional feminine virtues: mildness of temper, quiet acceptance of suffering, purity of mind, and a strong love and loyalty to family and friends. Both were not the cleverest nor the most entertaining characters, but they both exerted a strong moral force on those around them. They were indispensible.

Granted, the worlds they lived in were vastly different. Melanie lived through a war and the dismantling of her society's way of life. Through this, she grew stronger but not harder. Jane's life was less turbulent, but I think that if Jane had been faced with similar circumstances, she would've behaved in much the same way.

I don't think either character was meant to be a caricature or some impossible ideal. In my opinion, there is a backlash against the type of woman that is more of an invisible support and influence to others than a flashy leader on her own. Both of these women fit into the former category.


Robin I think they both have quiet fortitude, they would have done things in the same manner, not as showy as Scarlett, or LIzzie. They both brought balance in the author's storyline. I think Melanie had to be meek in dealing with Scarlett, but she also stood her ground. Jane always played second fiddle to whomever was around.


Maricela I am a big fan of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte!!! I have to say that Pride and Prejudice is my top rated book!!!


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