and I notice that the biggest theme in the book was Lizzie’s refusal to do or say things just because society expected it of her.
- refusing Mr. Collins even though she would have owned her family house, because she wanted to wait for love
- refusing Darcy even though he was rich, because his…
While I agree that LBD could have better plotting (especially the pacing of the series), I don’t think that Lizzie was robbed of her agency or of her defiance.
First of all, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries take place in America. Unlike England, America doesn’t have social classes. Sure, there’s a rather large gap between the rich and the poor, but America doesn’t have royalty or nobility like some of the European countries. Secondly, this is a modernized adaptation, and things like social classes just aren’t as prominent in today’s society. Therefore, when LBD!Lizzie is defiant and goes against societal norms, she doesn’t necessarily does things in the same way as book!Lizzy.
LBD!Lizzie chooses to get higher education. In a time where higher education and academia is full of males, Lizzie goes to get a master’s degree. In the male-dominated business world, she becomes a CEO. Lizzie chooses to reject a job offer from Mr. Collins because that isn’t what she wanted to do with her life. In a society where many people are sacrificing their dreams for financial security, Lizzie refuses to let go of her dreams.
As a show of her independence, she turns down a job that Darcy offers her in a well-established media company. In that way, she refuses to cater to the rich. By opening her own company, she creates more job opportunities for people like her; people who have a dream but no way to act on that dream. (I know this isn’t the main given reason Lizzie turns down the Pemberley Digital job, but I’m sure as Lizzie reflects on her decision, she’ll think of something like this.)
Also, at the age of 24, society expects people to have things “together.” Lizzie isn’t afraid to say that she doesn’t. She still lives at home. She isn’t afraid to say that she’s scared to move out into the world.
Lizzie does break social norms, but since LBD’s setting is different than book!Lizzy’s, LBD!Lizzie has to find different societal norms to break.