Jane Eyre Jane Eyre question

Compare Jane Eyre and Elizabeth Bennet

Maxine (last edited May 24, 2011 11:17AM ) May 24, 2011 11:16AM   2 votes
Comparing these two heroines is difficult for several reasons - the different history periods (Regency vs Victorian), the different class status (upper middle vs lower middle?) and the different genres in which the two books were written (comedy of manners vs gothic romance). However, taking these into account, I much prefer Elizabeth to Jane. True, Elizabeth is frivolous but, given that this book was published in 1813, she is a surprisingly strong character. She refuses to marry her mother's choice, she originally turns down Darcy's first terrible marriage proposal because of her original 'prejudice' and only accepts when she realizes she was wrong about him. I especially like her sense of humour and irony, qualities Jane sorely lacks. Certainly, Jane has to overcome more obstacles but I find her constant moralizing tedious.

U 25x33
Zara Lavoris That may be so, but Jane is someone who went for what was right, rather than what she felt, which is a stronger act of bravery than I think any of us ...more
Sep 10, 2015 01:18PM

This is an interesting question. I hadn't thought to compare the two of them before and it's a fun way to think about the books. I like and admire both of them tremendously. I guess I admire Jane more, but I'd rather have lunch with Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Bennet in my opinion is better. i understood how she felt better.

I don't think I can bring myself to compare between Jane and Elizabeth. I love them both so much it's hard to compare.
I also think that comparing them would be unfair, they're from two different eras and backgrounds which cannot be put side by side.
Having said that, I would dare say I love Bronte's writing style more, even though I admire the personalities Austen created.

deleted member Dec 21, 2012 04:51AM   0 votes
Elizabeth! I like Jane, too, but Lizzie's funnier and her taste in men is better.

I don't know they both both love books and have such awesome characteristics they both share like snapping at people and have great comebacks....that not nice to snap at people but that's what they do.

I also love both books, and I also prefer Jane Eyre as a character, though I like Elizabeth a lot, too. Elizabeth had a much easier life than Jane, so Jane's triumph is much greater. Elizabeth is a character who has to be brought down a little before she rises, but she is essentially good, which we see in contrast to Lydia.

good question! Elizabeth can strive to be Jane Eyre after a few years of marriage and maturity.

What about Jane Eyre to Fannie Price?

Dâmaris I heard somewhere "Jane Eyre" is how "Mansfield Park" should have been according to Charlotte Bronte.
Jun 18, 2014 06:03PM

I can not compare the two. I love both books and both characters as they both represent strong women who will not be willed by others to 'fit in' to the expected societal norms and have a lot of humour, character, will and va va voom if you know what I mean! Such good books both of them.

How does everyone feel about Moll Flanders? I love the fact that she has been the wrong side of 'morality' whatever that may be and has been tossed and blown by events in her life but is stronger for it.

I like both of the characters very much because they are both strong women who believe that there has to be a loving relationship for marriage. If I really have to choose one, I would choose Jane because she had a much difficult life and much more in touch with the real life. Spending time with Elizabeth would be more fun but Jane would be a real friend if she chooses to be friends.

As for Fanny Price, I think she would hard to bear with all her criticism and views of how a perfect human being should be ;)

deleted member Jun 11, 2011 07:14AM   0 votes
I much preferred Jane. She'd had a hard life, but it did not make her bitter. She dealt with Rochester as an equal and did not behave like a simpering ninny.

I think I admire Jane more. She had convictions and she held fast to them. She also endured and overcame a lot in her life. I like Elizabeth as a character, but I don't see her as being as strong as Jane was. I'm not convinced that Elizabeth could have endured what Jane did and held on to her convictions and sense of self and purpose in the same manner that Jane was able to.

I felt a much greater affinity to Jane. But Elizabeth is so much fun, yet still so solid. I think I am more like Jane, and would rather be her—but I'd rather be friends with Elizabeth.

Skylar (last edited May 20, 2011 10:39AM ) May 20, 2011 10:39AM   0 votes
I love both books. I *admire* Jane Eyre more than Elizaebth Bennet, but I *like* Elizabeth better. Elizabeth is more human than Jane. Jane Eyre is some kind of puritain model. Sure, I'd like to possess that level of moral fortitude, but who does? Jane Eyre endures all manner of abuse but always rises above, always does the right thing, and always does it while issuing moral lectures to others who are failing to do it. She's admirable, to be sure. Strong and good. But, if we were talking REAL life, I think I'd much prefer Lizzie's company.

kellyjane (last edited Mar 04, 2013 07:06PM ) Mar 03, 2013 11:50AM   0 votes
Both characters possess very admirable qualities. For me Jane Eyre is much more psychologically narrow than Elizabeth Bennett, humorless, uncomfortable with qualities associated with tenderness, uninterested in society, intensely self-focused, habitually masking her intense inner life, sparing in praise or appreciation for others, and with a sermonizing tendency. She does not seem to me a person that would necessarily be interesting to know. But for all of that, she is marvelously, resoundingly self-affirming even amid the gravest adversities. This one quality of hers, indomitable self-respect, is so strikingly delineated that she serves as an inspiring model for this basic human quest.

Elizabeth Bennett seems more psychologically versatile, less defended, certainly more lively and witty and charming, with more range for appreciating other personalities despite their imperfections and foibles, and more interest in the society of others: she seems to me a more whole and rounded character, more capable of offering surprises, and altogether likely to be much better company. She did not endure anything like the difficulties that Jane Eyre was forced to face; so it is not surprising that she has the more open, less insular, less constricted personality. Both probably would be good friends to have in their ways.

Definitely Jane eyre!
Because she is "the clear eye and eloquent tongue, the soul made of fire and the character that bends but does not break"...
She is my idol<3

It is a little like comparing apples to oranges, as said before the genre's are so different but the women are too. Elizabeth comes from a loving and stable home life, Jane was practically an orphan or worse abandoned. Elizabeth lived in a world of privilege, Jane was lucky to get a job as a governess.

There similarities are equally compelling; both strong opinionated and willed for women of their era's. Both unwilling to be submissive to the social norm. Both confronted by conflicted men who had reason for not wanting their relationships. Both rose above and found love anyway.

I found them both rather realistic and could relate to each in their own way but again, apples and oranges. I like them both.

Elizabeth Bennet - vapid, simple, one dimensional, obsessed with men and only men, intelligent "because I say so and I'm the writer".

Jane - too complex to describe in a post on Goodreads.

When I read Jane Eyre the first heroine that came to my mind was Elizabeth Bennet.. Although they are not so much alike there are some similarities between them.. Both Jane and Elizabeth speak their minds.. And right now I can't think of anything else!!! it is true that Elizabeth had a better life than Jane.. The latter apart from the hardships she had to face, made a very difficult decision to stand by the man she loved even if that meant that she had to take care of him for the rest of his life...

Well, on the contrary, I do tend to compare Jane and Elizabeth when I'm reading Jane Eyre. But of course one is so different than the other in terms of circumstances. I like Lizzy's sense of humor, and certainly all the elegance that goes with it. I even took so much inspiration from Lizzy's character. It's so uniformly charming to have a good sense of humour, but in a dignified way, that is, her first object in life is not a joke, although she delighted in anything ridiculous. But there is so much to be learnt from Jane too. I would say I learnt much from both characters. Both are charming in their own way. I certainly would like to have something from both.

E Mar 04, 2013 02:54PM   0 votes
I think they're both very different but I like them both equally.

X Aug 23, 2011 08:34AM   0 votes
I like both, they are so different that is impossible to tell wich one I like more. But both are very good characters. I just love the books and never thought to compare them.

Nesibe (last edited May 21, 2011 04:46AM ) May 20, 2011 12:21PM   0 votes
I love both of them and i think they are both strong and good enough to be honest.
though, they can't be compared by their character. they were raised in different circumstances -like jane was poor, orphan girl and she had to live with her cruel relatives. on the other hand elizabeth had her family and always have someone like her sister.- and the situations were different too.
we don't know what would they do if they had eachother's occasion. so it is hard to chose one of them i guess.

I love Jane because she's Jane, and Lizzy because she's Lizzy.

At the time Jane Eyre was written, it was rather shocking for a female to go in pursuit of a man, even if that man had supernaturally called for her. There wasn't much shocking about Elizabeth Bennett except her refusals of Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy. That her father backed her when she refused Mr. Collins might have been shocking at the time, too, but thank goodness he did!

Jane's reliance on her good morals and her knowledge of herself make her a more complete character than Elizabeth in a lot of ways. Lizzy hasn't been pushed into the situations that Jane has, so Lizzy hasn't looked into her own soul and discovered her own worth. Outside of marrying for love, Lizzy doesn't really know so much about what she believes inside her own soul. Jane does.

Jane would be a more comfortable person to be around, but Lizzy would be great at conversation.

Elizabeth is more opinonated and stubborn while Jane is more quiet and understanding. I really like both of their personalities. It's a hard choice. I like Elizabeth for her strong female personality, but Jane also has a strong female personality, but in a different way. I guess Elizabeth makes conversations more exciting but Jane makes them more interesting, if that makes sense :).

I prefer Jane! I don't think she is as shy as she seems - it took a lot of courage and confidence for her to leave the school and live as a governess in a strange house.

I like Elizabeth more then Jane because I always prefer girls that can talk back to guys and leaving them feeling infuriated, like Lizzy ;)

Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books of all time. I liked Pride and Prejudice as well, but not as much. It never occurred to me to compare their characters because the two are so different. Pride and Prejudice was like the Disney fairytale of the day: in the end, everyone marries who they're supposed to marry and is therefore happy. It might be weird to call Jane Eyre a didactic novel, but it really is. Bronte wanted to illustrate that by trying one's hardest to be an upright person one would receive their just reward.
To answer the actual question, I like Jane best. She is more relate-able because she is more real. Liza's story is fun to read but you don't always get the impression that she's a living, breathing person.

Elizabeth. :)

Like many of you have already pointed out, the circumstances of these 2 characters are so different that it makes it difficult to compare them. In general, I think Elizabeth would be more fun to hang out with but Jane would definitely be someone I turn to in times of trouble. However, given that Elizabeth is a character in a comedy of manners - not many hardships to be had other than the prospects of being penniless and husbandless - it's hard to say how she would have behaved had she been in Jane's shoes. I'd like to believe that she would have been capable of handling herself with Mr. Rochester and emerging happy in the end as well. Who knows, can you imagine - having the 2 of them switch places? It would probably be a bit hilarious.

I preferred Jane, but we have to remember, this is a different generation and social class. Liza Bennett is wealthy and has never had to work, she just goes to parties and tries to find a man. Maybe today we think, that's pathetic or weak, but at that time, that's what women in that social class were supposed to do. Develop their genteel talents, etc.

Jane had more self-worth because she wasn't expected to find a man or be nothing. She was permitted to be something on her own, as her own independent person. This let her focus more on morality, as opposed to just wanting to find a man to take care of her so she wouldn't end up penniless. If you knew you'd be left with no income and no way to take care of yourself, you'd worry about that more than whether it was right or wrong to judge someone.

The Superiors

i prefer jane because she really overcame a lot of difficulties... actually, they can't be compared. elizabeth reminds me more of Jo of little women... =)

Well,I prefer Elizabeth more than jane!!Coz Jane was shy kinda thing while Elizabeth was confident:)thats my reason for liking elizabeth!!

I like both the novels equally:)

Jerry (last edited Dec 21, 2012 03:05AM ) Dec 21, 2012 03:03AM   -1 votes
Jane Eyre's character is a great influenced in Christianity.You can really tell when she learned how to be humble in the Lowood Orphanage, after the untimely death of her best friend who taught her the reason not to keep record of any animosity in this life.For me I prefer Jane Eyre:is a book you would love to read over and over again without getting tired or bored.

I understand what you are saying. I am a huge fan of both books, but I think I prefer Jane Eyre as well and that's mostly because she is more mature and level headed than Elizabeth (even though Jane is 18 and Elizabeth is over 20). I also think that the love expressed by Jane Eyre is a fuller love than Elizabeth's because of the maturity. If Jane Eyre was in Elizabeth's shoes, there won't be much of a story she had little pride or prejudice, but Elizabeth's innocence is attractive and understandable, she's a bit weak and makes mistakes like young people do.

Laelia91 (last edited May 20, 2011 11:47AM ) May 20, 2011 03:28AM   -1 votes
For my part, and I love both of those books <3
I prefer jane Eyre because she is strong despite of all the bad things happened to her. However, Elizabeth has an easy life and she is a young arrogant personn. She juges people before knowing them and eveything is easy for her. There is no morality in Pride and Prejudice, but Jane Eyre is always thinking about what is right even if she has to be unhappy because of that...
(Sorry for my english :D )

Regarding Fanny Price, huuum, I think I prefer Jane Eyre who is much more human and "faillible", I don't know if it is the right word in english... but Fanny is also more "endearing" because even if she likes to do what is right,. But also, she is TOO MUCH for the morality... she is too good for me ^^

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