Grow Up Bennet!: How the Modern Contextualization of the Transmedial Lizzie Bennet Diaries Allows for a More Relatable Lydia Bennet

Maggie Kieffer Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Rocky Colavito Butler University
Adaptations of the novels of Jane Austen have become increasingly common in recent years, and there has been an immense amount of focus on both capturing the essence of these canonical novels in visual media and placing them in a position to appeal to modern audiences. Recently, this mode of adaptation has taken the form of placing canonical characters in a modern time period. While there has been some scholarly work done on the modern-day web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, there has been little focus on the character alterations made in the series. Only Lydia Bennet was chosen as the younger sister to adapt in LBD, even though all three younger sisters play off of a similar trope: “The Bratty Teenage Daughter.” Through investigating what aspects of Lydia’s character are altered, it is possible to see how lack of fidelity to an original narrative can be to the advantage of making a character more relatable and appealing to modern audiences. Considering the transmedial nature of LBD, the web series also allowed for a high level of audience interactivity, and this audience interest drove the expansion and development of the character of Lydia Bennet. Considering both LBD’s conscious adaptive choices to the source text and the audience’s response to the character, it is possible to see how Lydia Bennet was given room to grow and mature, making her a twenty-first century that reclaims of eighteenth century’s tradition of slut-shaming of characters that exhibit “Bratty Teenage Daughter” tendencies.
Competitive Paper--All Disciplines (includes an Oral Presentation)
Competitive Paper (includes an Oral Presentation)

When & Where

09:30 AM
Jordan Hall 242