Boozy Books: Austen Round-Up

In case any of you are disappointed to be getting another round-up from me, let me explain.

This happened today:


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My friend shared this with me on FB. You know, because I love Austen and consider her my second favorite author (behind Gaiman). Now, setting aside the fact that I disagree with the placement of Elizabeth Bennet (I say Slytherin, for sure) and I’m not entirely sure Elinor belongs in Gryffindor (I have to ponder, though I absolutely WOULD put Mariane there), this means that I have spent a great deal of today trying to figure out where I would put all of Miss Austen’s characters. Part of me disagrees with Fanny Price being in Hufflepuff, for example. It’s subtle, but Fanny ultimately goes with her gut on things; she has ideals she will not let go of, even if she doesn’t always charge in. And she was very brave in the face of her own struggles, even if it was a quiet bravery (i.e. she chose to go to a home she hadn’t seen in years rather than marry a man she didn’t believe was worthy). So part of me wants to put her in Gryffindor, even if it wouldn’t be an obvious choice.

I should, for the record, state that I don’t just go with what the Sorting Hat says. That’s a cute rhyme to sum up, in a superficial manner, what each house stands for. But, though Neville does grow up to be more conspicuously brave, he was a Gryffindor even from the beginning. Some argue that the hat takes into consideration what you value or admire in other people–what you would wish to be yourself–but I think Hermione values knowledge and wisdom as much as bravery, and I’m not sure she’d have an issue being put in Ravenclaw the way Harry did with Slytherin, so I’m of two minds on that argument. On the other hand, I take the people over at The Sorting Hat Chats pretty damn seriously because that’s some damn good psychological analysis. So, while I figure things out, you get a round-up. Because you know I’m going to have to re-read the books before I make any final decisions.

Persuasion remains my favorite of Austen’s books because of the snark level. I am definitely leaning toward Hufflepuff for Anne, the main character, but there are others I need to consider. Louisa Musgrove seems a prime candidate for the reckless side of Gryffindor, and Captain Wentworth is somewhere between Gryffindor and Slytherin. I’m leaning toward Gryffindor because I think he is ultimately motivated by his gut instincts rather than a select group of people. He joins the Navy out of personal ambition, yes, but there are other, less gallant ways of going about it.

Pride and Prejudice will have some interesting characterization for me. I already lean toward Slytherin for the main couple, but I’m also very intrigued by Mary Bennet. Does she do what she does out of love of learning, or is it out of a sense of priggish sense of superiority? Or both? And does the latter confirm a Ravenclaw diagnosis or move her away from it?

Emma is a difficult woman. I’ve never believed she was good enough for Mr. Knightley (who is *my* Austen hero), but hey… if she makes him happy, I’m happy. I agree that Emma is a Slytherin with her scheming and her fixation on social class (a lot of her friendship with Miss Smith is based on her belief that Harriet is the natural daughter of an aristocrat), but she isn’t as cunning as she thinks she is. As for Mr. Knightley, I am torn between Hufflepuff and Gryffindor. His name is Knightley and honor and chivalry are definitely a part of his character, but is he motivated by ideal or by people? As for Mrs. Elton… definitely a squib.

As I said, I’m pondering the placement of Sense and Sensibility‘s Elinor into Gryffindor. I see her more as a Hufflepuff because she is the person people turn to for honest support. A Slytherin would conspire against Lucy Steele, a Gryffindor would probably be less circumspect, and, well, there’s little to suggest Ravenclaw. Colonel Brandon, though? Definitely a Gryffindor.

As for Northanger Abbey, it’s been a bit since I read it, but Catherine Morland’s tendency to act before thinking and let her own opinions shape reality is her version of Gryffindor’s recklessness. But maybe not. I do think Mr. Tilney goes into Ravenclaw, though. He’s an inveterate reader, and half of what attracts him about Catherine is her love of books. He’s sensible, though, and is willing to change his opinion on things when he takes the time to think things over.

Now, we already know that I’m really torn on Mansfield Park‘s Fanny Price. I kind of think she’s a dark house Gryffindor. Based on The Sorting Hat Chats’ definition of the houses, I do think she’s more motivated by her ideals than by people. She does what she thinks is right, even if it puts her at odds with the people she loves. That’s a very Gryffindor trait. (Not to say it isn’t Hufflepuff, but Huffs are more people-first where Gryffs are ideal-first.) Also, I think it’s obvious, but Mrs. Norris is a cat. I mean… the cat is named for Aunt Norris. So… J.K. has spoken!

So. Since I’ve already paired all of these, take the time to read all my hard work and maybe ponder where you think all the characters would be sorted.

I may write about this the next time it’s my turn to Muse.



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