Love triangles, fancy dances, disapproving parents... no, I'm not talking about high school, I'm talking about the fantastic fictional world of Jane Austen. Like high school, Austen's novels are brimming with romance, unrequited love, meddling forces, misunderstandings, competition, jealousy — the comparisons go on and on. But what if Austen's characters from Persuasion , Emma , and Pride and Prejudice and her other classics were taken out of the English countryside and instead thrown into an equally (if not more) dramatic setting of high school?
I think I see the next movie adaptation on the horizon. Just go with me here.
Like the English high society in which Austen sets her novels, high school is all about what class you're in, whom you associate with, and (of course) whom you date. If the world of Jane Austen's novels was instead the world of a typical high school, it'd be easy enough to see which characters would fall into which cliques, who the popular ones would be, who would be a teacher's pet, and who would drop out before graduation.
Instead of balls, the Bennet sisters would fret about their dates to prom. Instead of dinner parties, Emma would be organizing football rallies. Everyone would want to date Mr. Wickham, and poor Fanny Price would have no one to take her to homecoming. See where I am going with this? It's like Jane Austen knew just what high school would be like.
And the superlatives go to:
Everyone knows that when Elizabeth Bennet speaks, she speaks the truth. Intelligent and frank, Elizabeth isn't afraid to speak her mind — not even in the company of her crush, Darcy. Austen describes her as "“expressing her opinions decidedly," but anyone who went to high school knows that she would be that student in class who constantly questions the teachers.
When you come from a wealthy family, it can be hard not to act like a snob, and Mr. Darcy is no exception. He is highly educated, independently rich, and a gentleman by birth, but he doesn't always act like it. Before falling for Elizabeth, he is haughty, self righteous, stubborn, and often cruel without realizing it. Whether it was the love of a good woman or time and maturity that made Darcy see the error in his ways, it's easy to see why he would be named the most changed.
If anyone from Austen's novels resembles a modern-day teenager, it's none other than the youngest Bennet sister, Lydia. Described as "untamed, unabashed, wild, noisy, and fearless," Lydia is boy-crazy and flirtatious, so it's no wonder she gets herself into trouble in this department.
It's a shame Wickham is such a liar and a coward, (not to mentioned off the market) because, damn, have you seen him? His dark hair and a gorgeous body thanks to the militia give him what Austen called "the best part of beauty." If he were in high school, he would be that jock every girl wanted to date and every guy wanted to be — until the 20 year reunion when Wickham shows up drunk and overweight with a bitter Lydia on his arm.
Sweet yet painfully shy, Georgiana is like most artist types and is a bit of an introvert. Her modestly aside, Georgiana is extremely talentled. She can play the piano and the harp as well as sing and draw. She would be that cute but often overlooked underclassmen with a sketchbook permanently stashed in the crook of her arm and an instrument case slung over her shoulder — that is until she comes back to school for senior year with bright pink hair and a punk rock band.
Anne Elliot & Captain Frederick Wentworth
Probably the toughest vote on the list, the award for class couple could have gone to Elizabeth and Darcy or George and Emma, but the real true love of this fictional senior class goes to Anne and Wentworth from Persuasion. Though estranged for years, nothing could tear these two apart in the end — not war, not class difference, not family, and not even betrayal. When all hope was lost, these two held out for love. And remember Wentworth's love letter to Anne? Just imagine what he wrote in her yearbook. #swoon
Most Likely to Become President
Before you get mad that this award wasn't given to Elizabeth Bennet, hear me out. Emma has been the head of her father's household since a young age, and she is the unofficial leader of the Highbury social scene. She is the one who organizes the parties, selects the menus for feasts, and chooses the games for balls. There isn't a going-on in her community that Emma isn't aware of — let alone involved in. Combine her meddlesome nature and her ability to influence those around her, and I see a political candidate in the making.
Most Liked By Parents
Rich, handsome, polite, honest, caring, gentlemanly... what's there not to like about Mr. Knightley? He is respected by those in his community, peers and elders alike, and tries avoids unnecessary drama. When he finally does win over Emma, Knightley even moves out of his estate to be with his true love and her father, and Mr. Woodhouse. Talk about scoring brownie points with dad!
Being described as "extremely timid and shy, shrinking from notice" doesn't give Fanny much hope for a happy high school tenure. She's afraid of just about everything and everyone, and is self conscious to boot. If Fanny were in school, she'd be the type to eat her lunch alone in the bathroom. Let's hope college brings her out of her shell.