What Personality Type Is Elizabeth Bennet? (You Tell Us!)

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a classic novel in possession of a much-loved heroine, must be in want of personality typing.

Ah, Pride and Prejudice. Many of us read it to satisfy a course requirement, only to fall in love with the insight and sly humor that Jane Austen brings to her tale of courtship and social mores. (Well, some of us also fell in love with the proud, enigmatic Mr. Darcy, but that’s another story.)

Written in the early 19th century, the novel centers on Elizabeth Bennet, a spirited twenty-year-old with strong ideals. Elizabeth is among the best-loved characters in literature because her personality – independent, principled, warm-hearted, and funny – leaps off the page.

Elizabeth Bennet Personality Type

Here at 16Personalities, we love to analyze the personality types of fictional characters. But this week, we’re turning the tables and asking you: What personality type do you think fits Elizabeth Bennet?

To help you with this mission, here are some of Elizabeth’s key traits.

A Mind of Her Own

Even though she lives in a society that views a woman’s marriageability as her chief merit, Elizabeth isn’t desperate to become a wife. Resolved to stay true to herself, she plans to marry for love – or not at all – rather than accept a husband based on his wealth. This puts her out of step with the status quo – not to mention with her pushy, status-conscious mother.

When the eminently eligible (but insufferable) Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth, she immediately turns him down. “You could not make me happy,” Elizabeth says, “and I am convinced that I am the last woman in the world who would make you so.”

This sends her mother into quite a tizzy, and she warns Elizabeth, “But I tell you, Miss Lizzy – if you take it into your head to go on refusing every offer of marriage in this way, you will never get a husband at all.” Principled as ever, Elizabeth stays steadfast in her refusal.

“Conceited Independence”

Elizabeth’s feelings and principles guide her rather than reason or convention, and she isn’t afraid to appear a bit unladylike – particularly when it comes to helping those she loves. For example, when her sister falls ill, Elizabeth tramps through the muddy countryside to attend to her.

This earns Elizabeth the derision of other ladies, who make fun of her muddy petticoat and her “untidy,” “blowsy” hair. Trying to put down Elizabeth in front of some men, one of the ladies says, “To walk three miles, or four miles, or five miles, or whatever it is, above her ankles in dirt, and alone, quite alone! what could she mean by it? It seems to me to show an abominable sort of conceited independence.”

Despite her confidence, Elizabeth is far from conceited. But this lady is correct in one respect: Elizabeth’s independent spirit is exactly why she holds a place in the hearts of so many 21st-century readers.

Strong Impressions

Like anyone, Elizabeth has her weaknesses. In particular, she forms impressions of people quickly, and she’s slow to change these opinions. This is why she finds it so difficult to warm up to the seemingly aloof Mr. Darcy, who initially snubs her by refusing to ask her to dance.

At a later event, Mr. Darcy does ask Elizabeth to dance. She accepts but immediately regrets her decision. One friend tries to reassure her that speaking with Mr. Darcy might be agreeable after all. “Heaven forbid!” Elizabeth exclaims. “That would be the greatest misfortune of all! – To find a man agreeable whom one is determined to hate! – Do not wish me such an evil.” Even though it’s tongue-in-cheek, this line of dialogue shows us how stubbornly Elizabeth clings to her negative opinion of Darcy.

By contrast, the charming, smooth-talking Mr. Wickham takes Elizabeth’s fancy. When Wickham tells an awful story that reflects badly on Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth is quick to believe him. Elizabeth’s sister Jane tries to give Darcy the benefit of the doubt, saying, “One does not know what to think.” Elizabeth, however, is adamant: “I beg your pardon; one knows exactly what to think.”

It’s not until much later that Elizabeth discovers her mistake: Wickham has lied to her, and Darcy is generous, principled, and loyal. In light of this, Elizabeth learns the importance of questioning her assumptions and keeping an open mind.

You Tell Us!

So, readers, does this sound like anyone you know? What personality type do you think fits Elizabeth Bennet best?

We’ll reveal our answer – and share some of your insights – next week.

(You can now find the follow-up article here.)

Further Reading

How does your personality type affect what type of books you enjoy the most? Check out these articles:

Personality Theory in Fiction Writing V: Writing for Readers’ Personality Types

Tears or Jeers: How Personality Types React to Emotion in Movies and Books

A Likely Story... Or Not, Depending on Personality Type

Personality and the Avid Reader

1 week ago
It is so brilliant that no one guessed what my impression if her is and almost no one guessed what my second impression of her is. Anyway, I haven't read pride and prejudice and my analysis is solely based on the material offered here. Among the E-I spectrum I think there is almost a pronounced leaning towards an E. "One does not know what to think. I beg your pardon? One exactly knows what to think." I think she does to. She is more straightforward, focused on the real, in front of face material. So I think in he N-S dichotomy, she is a S. I see why so many people typed her as an N but I don't think she is. This is where it might get the most confusing. But I don't think she is as open minded as Intuitive individuals tend to be, in fact she has some firm, unyielding ideas. She forms 'strong impressions' of people which changes with some effort, not so much open minded as an N can be. There is also a pronounced focus on what's immediately in front of her face, like how she takes Mr. Wickham as he presents himself. I think here she scores S. I think it is quite obvious she values individual moral codes, beliefs and ideals more than rational objective truth making her more of an F. Although her stubbornness and sticking to her ideals may seem like an J, I think that's more like seeking freedom from traditional hierarchies. Also she is more impulsive than an organized J could ever care to be. She didn't care much about her muddy appearance when her sister needed her. Plus the main attraction of pride and prejudice and of her is her 'independent spirit'. She, I think on the J-P dichotomy scores P. And the rashness makes me think of her being T on T-A spectrum. But this is the only one I am not so sure about. She could be self assured about her opinions making her an Assertive or could be a turbulent based on what appears as impulsive or whimsical maybe. But here let me go with A, but again I am not so sure. So final bet is """ESFP-A"""
1 week ago
Hello 16personalities! When I first read [i]Pride and Prejudice[/i], Elizabeth Bennet screamed Campaigner (ENFP). She is a sociable free spirit, being caring and generous, with a hint of spunk and spontaneity. I hope this helps!
1 week ago
ENFJ
1 week ago
I think INTJ-A, but that's just me.
TG
1 week ago
She is ENFJ or ENFP.
Your name: