Study Guide

Austenland Dissatisfaction

By Shannon Hale

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Jane Hayes of Austenland has a decent job, a decent apartment, and a recently dead aunt who just left her with a fabulous vacation. What does she have to be dissatisfied about? Well, she's unhappy about the same thing most Austenian heroines are unsatisfied with: their lack of a man.

This level of dissatisfaction is so extreme for our Jane that she's almost retreated into a fantasyland in her head. She's obsessed with Pride and Prejudice. More specifically: Mr. Darcy. Even more specifically: Colin Firth. Sure, we've devoted some of our brainpower to this man as well, but Jane takes it to the extreme. No wonder she's dissatisfied with her thirteen ex-boyfriends. What normal person can live up to Hollywood's standards of perfection?

Questions About Dissatisfaction

  1. What is Jane dissatisfied with in her real life that compels her to go to Austenland?
  2. Are all the guests at Austenland dissatisfied about the same things?
  3. Why is Jane dissatisfied with all of the boyfriends on her list, and how is Henry different?

Chew on This

Jane brings a lot of her dissatisfaction upon herself. If she would stop obsessing over Mr. Darcy, she might be able to have a happy, and realistic, relationship.

On the flip side, Jane is right not to lower her standards for love. Staying with Martin would have meant settling for something less, and she never would have gotten her dramatic happy ending (with Henry).

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