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Ranking Jane Austen’s Heroines From Worst to Best

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Emma Woodhouse

Emma Woodhouse has every possible advantage in life, but she’s also spoiled and convinced she knows better than everyone. Her constant meddling in other people’s affairs causes no end of grief for those in her orbit.
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Marianne Dashwood

Marianne is a bit of a brat, to be honest. Her carefree attitude nearly ruins her when she falls for the rakish Willoughby. She’s the kind of overly dramatic friend who would constantly text you about her love life and never listen to any of your advice.
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Catherine Morland

Despite suffering from “main character syndrome,” Catherine's not so bad. Her overactive imagination nearly ruins her romance with Henry Tilney, but she’s less spoiled than Emma and not quite as reckless as Marianne. Her heart is in the right place.
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Fanny Price

Fanny Price has a strong moral code and disapproves of seemingly everything. However, Fanny can’t afford to be outgoing or naive. Even after being deceived by Henry Crawford, she remains true to herself. She's the most “grown-up” of Austen’s heroines.
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Elinor Dashwood

Though Elinor is younger than Emma, she's more mature. Like Fanny Price, she knows if she puts a foot out of line, it could jeopardize her family. Elinor also performs emotional labor for her mother, sisters, and friends. Simply put, she holds the family together.
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Anne Elliot

No longer a naive young woman, Anne now knows her own mind. Anne is wholly unlike the heroines of Austen's other novels, who were usually between 19 and 21. In fact, Anne seems like the closest thing to a stand-in for the author in her work.
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Elizabeth Bennet

Despite being created over 200 years ago, there’s something modern about Lizzie. She’s sassy, even snarky. She’s just 20 years old, so she lacks Anne Elliot’s hard-earned wisdom, but she is not as immature as Emma. All the adaptations of Pride and Prejudice highlight Elizabeth's wit and fearlessness.
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For the full rankings, make sure to check out PopTonic.com!