Lydia in the Modern Age: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and the Victimisation of Jane Austen’s Lydia Bennet
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This thesis analyses the character of Lydia Bennet from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. By comparing her characterisation through the narration in Pride and Prejudice the novel, Pride and Prejudice (2005), and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, the argument is made that her character is treated unfairly. For a modern audience, she is easier to be regarded as a victim than a villain, and this thesis reflects on the way the regard of Lydia Bennet changes over time and through the use of media. Ultimately, for a modern audience Lydia Bennet is a victim of her time, and a victim of the manipulative Mr. Wickham, while Jane Austen´s Lydia Bennet was blamed for her problems, and her fate was seen as deserving. Thus, Lydia’s character is influenced by her time, but also the way she is presented to and received by the audience. Narration and perspective greatly influences her reception, as do the possibilities for audience interaction in modern forms of narration, such as seen in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. More research could be done in this area, looking at audience participation and the influence it has on narration in modern forms of storytelling.