Has anyone asked you about how you think the Austen characters would be sorted at Hogwarts? Maybe if you have done the major ones then you could do some of the minor characters?
Sorry for the delay on this one. No one ever has asked me before, so I had to put on my thinking cap and do some sorting. (Or was that a Sorting Hat and do some thinking?)
[Full disclosure, I’m a Slytherin, I’ve always wanted to be a Hufflepuff, but I have come to accept my placement and acknowledge that it makes some sense. I’ve bolded the main characters to make them easier to pick out.]
Marianne Dashwood, Mrs. Dashwood, Eliza Williams (elder & younger,)
Lydia Bennet, Tom Bertram, Maria Bertram, John Thorpe, Mrs. Allan, Sir
Walter Elliot, Elizabeth Elliot, Mary Musgrove, Frederick Wentworth,
Louisa Musgrove, and Mrs. Smith.
Dashwood, Colonel Brandon, Margaret Dashwood, Sir John Middleton, Mrs.
Jennings, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Jane Bennet, Kitty Bennet, Charles Bingley,
Georgiana Darcy, Lady Bertram, Mr. Rushworth, William Price, Harriet
Smith, Robert Martin, Mrs. Weston, Mr. Weston, Miss Bates, Mr.
Woodhouse, Isabella Knightley, Catherine Morland, Eleanor Tilney, Mr.
Allan, Anne Elliot, Charles Musgrove, Admiral Croft, Henrietta Musgrove,
Mr. Musgrove, and Mrs. Musgrove.
Ferrars, Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Bennet, Mary Bennet, Lady Catherine de
Bourgh, Fanny Price, Edmund Bertram, Mary Crawford, Sir Thomas Bertram,
George Knightley, John Knightley, Jane Fairfax, Henry Tilney, General
Tilney, Lady Russell, Sophia Croft, and James Benwick.
John Willoughby, Lucy Steele, Robert Ferrars, John & Fanny Dashwood, George Wickham, Mrs. Bennet, William Collins, Charlotte Lucas, Caroline Bingley, Louisa Hurst, Mrs. Norris, Julia Bertram, Henry Crawford, Emma Woodhouse, Frank Churchill, Philip Elton, Augusta Elton, Isabella Thorpe, Frederick Tilney, Mrs. Clay, and William Elliot.
I find it interesting to note that the patterns I see out of this in particular with married couples is that Hufflepuffs can generally marry one another quite happily, but that [potential] matches within houses in the other three tend to be ill-advised pairings that bring out the worser qualities within their characters. Also, I will fully admit that I struggled on some of these, and could happily settle for having some in other houses. Naturally many of the antagonists have fallen into Slytherin house simply due to the overall stamp upon their characters being of a mercenary bent in novels built around a society and class which forced many to marry for money or powerful connections; but then I find that several Ravenclaw characters have a kind of supercilious elitism due to the lofty and cerebral virtues prized by stricter intellectuals–so you see a couple of ‘noble’ characters in there, as I found their strongest traits tended to be that kind of cool, dispassionate, black & white way of looking at the world. Gryffindors’ brash impulses can bring them into perilous places, and Hufflepuffs may seem like the dumping ground for characters that perhaps don’t fit in anywhere else explicitly; (but I think we can all agree that Hufflepuffs generally have good qualities that everyone can appreciate, though they may not always think to do so.)
I think all four houses show that there can be good and bad traits encompassed within the general concepts for the four Hogwarts houses, and so it mustn’t be presumed that all heroes and heroines must be Gryffindors, and all villains must be Slytherins. Plenty of Gryffindors have brushes with disaster thanks to their rash impulses and short tempers, and plenty of Slytherins may not be wholly bad people simply because they may pursue ambitions which are unlike those of their friends. The most prominent examples in the Slytherin house of my point are William Collins and Charlotte Lucas–both ambitious, both self-preserving, and both going about achieving their aims with what cunning they have. Mr. Collins is rather famously stupid by Bennet standards (and, as we are in sympathy with Elizabeth, by most reader’s standards, I would imagine,) but he is playing Lady Catherine’s game rather well, all things considered. Charlotte’s good sense perhaps helps him refine some strategies or make him less likely to expose himself to the censure of outside judgement, but if all you want is a comfortable living as a clergyman with a wealthy and powerful patroness? The reverend is on it, and so is his wife, in the end. Their characters and skillsets are by no means equal, but they are still both total Slytherins.
It’s not general personality traits like Good or Bad which necessarily pick your house for you–it’s what drives you, and how it drives you. What are your larger goals/intentions, and how do you get there?
I’m definitely willing to go into greater detail on specific characters, if anyone has any queries as to why I put them where I did.