…she had a lively playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous.
Elizabeth Bennet is one of the most popular characters in history. She is clever, witty and likes to laugh at the world.
She is the Jane Austen heroine all fangirls want to be because she has a little bit of everything-the common sense of Elinor, the whimsicalness of Marianne, and the cleverness of Emma.
She isn’t without her flaws. She sometimes speaks too hastily and may judge too quickly. However, I would not say that her first impression of Darcy was undeserved.
I mean the guy was incredibly rude to everyone at the Lucas’ Ball and he completely insulted her! There was no way she could have known that the guy was actually just shy.
However, I have noticed an interesting trend about how the general public views Elizabeth.
Whenever a modern adaptation is made, Lizzie is portrayed as not just an avid reader, but an aspiring author. Now in the novel Lizzie does enjoy reading, however when the Bingley sisters are teasing her, she herself claims that she is not a great reader. And besides writing letters to Jane, she doesn’t do any writing.
So where does this idea of Lizzie come from?
The other day I was talking to one of my professors and she made the connection that I had been trying to make:
Somewhere along the way, Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet got conflated with Louisa May Alcott’s Jo March.
My roommate Anna (AH-NA) is a Jane Austen Fangirl and a lover of Little Women. She is also one of the best personality type identifiers I know.
So now it’s time for…
Myers-Briggs Time with Anna
It is a truth universally acknowledged that best way to distinguish between characters and exploring misinterpretations of their personalities is Myers-Briggs personality typing.
According to Anna, different personality bloggers call Jo March pretty much everything: ENFP, ENTP, ESFP, ESTP, and INFP.
However, Anna would say that Jo is an EFSP (Extraverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving)
This does sound like Jo. Specifically:
The ESFP has a tremendous love for life, and knows how to have fun. They like to bring others along on their fun-rides, and are typically a lot of fun to be with. They’re flexible, adaptable, genuinely interested in people, and usually kind-hearted. They have a special ability to get a lot of fun out of life, but they need to watch out for the pitfalls associated with living entirely in the moment.
Lizzie Bennet on the other hand is not an ESFP. Nor is she an ENFP as this tumblr post suggests.
Anna, agrees with Jenny Rebecca Rytting in her essay Jane Austen meets Carl Jung: Pride, Prejudice, and Personality Theory, that Lizzie Bennet is an INFJ (Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judging).
Read the article. Its fascinating.
Here is Anna’s final conclusion on the matter:
Elizabeth and Jo would have gotten along because they have similar dispositions. They don’t have similar personality/character traits. In fact, they only have one letter in common.
So there you have it. Lizzie Bennet and Jo March are not the same character. But they would have been best friends. Which makes me think that some fan fiction needs to be written right now!