Identifying with the Five Bennet Sisters

Identifying with the Five Bennet Sisters

If the Internet is to be believed, one can determine “Which Bennet Sister You Are” by taking a quick quiz and viewing an advert or two. Sparknotes thinks I am Mary, and Buzzfeed thinks I am Jane Bennet. I have yet to find one willing to let me be Elizabeth, to my great chagrin. Do I not have enough wit, impertinence, and sparkling fine eyes? Can “experience with odious suitor” be added to the criteria of one of these things?

If I were truly to think about it, however, I have to admit that there can be a bit of every Bennet sister in everyone. It really just depends which traits the author of each quiz emphasizes. People are complex creatures who can’t be described successfully in broad strokes, after all. On my part, these are the things I feel the most connected to when I examine each Bennet sister from Pride and Prejudice.

Jane. As the eldest in my family, I feel for Jane being the first amongst her siblings. Not only does she need to set a good example to her sisters, whatever she does in life also reflects strongly on her four younger sisters. Is it any wonder poor Jane felt such a strong pressure to marry well? She is, whether she likes it or not, an example for her sisters to follow, whether in the eyes of her family or of society.

Elizabeth. What’s not to love about Elizabeth? While I appreciate a lot of her traits, I have to admit I don’t exactly exhibit some of them. What I do identify with Elizabeth are her outspoken nature and, to be honest, her sense of pride. Mr. Darcy isn’t the only person with all the pride when it comes to other people. Without Elizabeth’s pride being wounded at the Meryton Assembly, the story of Pride and Prejudice would not be at all what we know it to be.

Mary. Mary rarely gets a good rep, but I do feel for her when it comes to music. I’ve always liked music, but it hasn’t always liked me as much in return. I don’t think anyone will be inviting me to play the pianoforte in a public situation anytime soon! All of us probably have had experiences at some point of being devoted to a hobby or interest for which we have less talent than we would like to have. It is an unfortunate fact of life, and Mary Bennet gets the brunt of it.

Kitty. Kitty and Lydia tend to always be presented as a pair until Lydia ships off to Brighton. In fact, it took me a moment during my first reading of Pride and Prejudice to realize which sister is off traveling and causing scandals. As far as identifying with Kitty goes, I do think that we all have times when we are overlooked or seen as one in a collective group, be it as part of a certain family, a couple, or a group of friends. I’m sure some people are still adjusting to being so-and-so’s mom or so-and-so’s grandma!

Lydia. And here’s where the admission stings. I have to admit that growing up, I always was a bit of a romance-addict with a hefty dose of boy craziness any day. Crushes and cuties were never far from my mind, and I’m just thankful I found my Mr. Darcy early enough in life to have an emotional anchor of sorts. Thinking back, I probably caused my parents a heart attack or two with my eagerness to entertain male attention. At least I never shipped off to Brighton!

Whom do you identify with when it comes to the Bennet sisters? Or do you feel a bit of kinship with each one? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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July 16, 2022 4:49 PM

I most identify with Mary. I also love music but have no talent for it although I have enough self-awareness that I would never offer to perform for anyone.

Caryl Kane
Caryl Kane
July 14, 2022 7:32 PM

I most identify with Jane as I’m also the firstborn.

Kirstin Odegaard
July 13, 2022 5:12 PM

I’ve seen quizzes where you can find out your Harry Potter house, too! I think those sites only grant a lucky few Elizabeth or Gryffindor status so that it will feel like winning the lottery. Definitely if I ever took one, I’d be Elizabeth in Gryffindor. 🙂 Do I sound like Lady Catherine?

July 13, 2022 2:47 PM

I am a middle child out of 10 children. Talking about befuddled…that was me. I could never fit in. I had better luck with friends and classmates. Sad to say, I can relate more to Mary. Well, that wasn’t so bad! I finally accepted who I really am????!

Last edited 1 month ago by Leila
cindie snyder
cindie snyder
July 13, 2022 11:47 AM

I can identify with at least three sisters. Lizzy because I am obstinate and headstrong too!lol Mary because sometimes I kind of feel in the background too and Lydia because I am the youngest. I like all of your explanations of the girls. What a fun post!

Regina Jeffers
July 13, 2022 9:55 AM

In my upcoming book, I really mess with the personalities of all but Lydia, who is too hardheaded to learn. I present Mary with characteristics of which a discerning man would approve, and do not ask me of Jane, for I have often wondered if one took away for beauty and her “you’re a good girl, Jane,” what redeeming qualities did she possess? Just saying! LOL!

J. W. Garrett.
J. W. Garrett.
July 13, 2022 8:59 AM

This examination of the Bennet sisters was really interesting. I agree that we all can identify with each sister at some point in our life. I like your phrase “People are complex creatures who can’t be described successfully in broad strokes, after all.” How true that is. Throughout my life, I have been each sister.

Jane: First-born, with the responsibility of taking care of siblings.

Elizabeth: Smart mouth… um… maybe less wit and more impertinence have plagued me at times when I should have kept my mouth shut.

Mary: Music: I didn’t practice as I should. My father wanted me to play in church and I wanted to play classical and my frustrated music teacher said I couldn’t do both. My brain didn’t work that way and I had to choose.

Kitty: the poor girl was a chameleon with an underdeveloped identity. Like her, I became whoever I was running with at the time in order to fit in. Most teens have that trait until they develop their own identity and personality.

Lydia: Help us all. I look back on some of my actions and cringe. The Good Lord certainly protected me from disaster on more than one occasion. What on earth was I thinking? I now realize I wasn’t thinking at all. I was still a child in my mental development and didn’t think of consequences. Shudder.

Well, that was a fun introspection into my past… I think. I hope I have developed into the person I am supposed to be. Heavens, it has taken long enough. Thanks for the post. Blessings on all your hard work. 

Gianna Thomas
July 13, 2022 8:25 AM

Oh, my. I can probably identify a little with each of the four sisters. I did take piano for eleven years and was quite good at it, however, even playing for recitals made me really nervous. So, becoming a concert pianist was not an option. Bold in some areas like Elizabeth, shy at times like Jane, brash like Lydia for a time, but probably less like Kitty than any of the sisters because I was more a loner than a follower. Interesting exercise, Iris. Thank you for your post. 🙂

Riana Everly
July 13, 2022 8:11 AM

I’m probably the most like Mary, in that despite many hours of practise, I never did master the pianoforte. Luckily I had more aptitude for other instruments.
I’m also a bit like Jane in that I’m the oldest of a family of girls, and I’m more likely to hold my tongue than say something witty and cutting. But I’m not nearly as nice as Jane, and just because i don’t say things, it doesn’t mean I don’t think them!

July 13, 2022 3:01 AM

I am a mix of Jane, Elizabeth and Mary. But when I was younger, I probably had more Kitty in me 😉

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