character of Elizabeth Bennet

Write a note on the character of Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen’s novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

Introduction: In the novel entitled ‘Pride and Prejudice‘, there are five daughters to Mr and Mrs Bennet; named Jane, Elizabeth, Lydia, Mary and Kitty. Elizabeth is the second daughter of Mr and Mrs Bennet, is the heroine of ‘Pride and Prejudice’. The whole action of the novel is centred around  Elizabeth Bennet. Her character, on the basis of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, is discussed  below:

Her wit:

Among all the characters of the novel, Elizabeth Bennet is the wittiest. It is her wit when she makes a joke of Fitzwilliam Darcy by remarking that he has no shortcomings.  One more fine example of her wit is seen about Elizabeth’s mother when she (her mother) remarks that she is unhappy because of Lydia’s departure.

At this, Elizabeth tells her mother that she should not be unhappy because there are still four daughters with her and all these are unmarried 

No interest in useless talks:

There are so many characters in the novel, who indulge in talking on such topics which are not useful, by any means in practical life, but Elizabeth Bennet does not like these vain talks.  A minute reader of the novel often observes that the trivial talkings of her mother and her two sisters; Lydia and kitty has made her unhappy so many times. A number of occasions Elizabeth were embarrassed by her mother’s foolish remarks in the parties or in front of the guests.

Her far-sightedness:

Elizabeth’s far-sightedness can be seen in the matter of Lydia. She requests her father, Mr Bennett, to not permit Lydia to go for Brighton with Mrs.Forster. According to her, if she(Lydia) goes to Brighton, unfavourable things may happen with her and undoubtedly it will stain Bennet Family’s reputation.

Since Lydia is a foolish girl and she always wants to be free. In the absence of her parents, she will do everything which she loves. She can go anywhere without any control. But Mr Bennett does not give care to Elizabeth’s fear about Lydia. Just, few days pass and the bad news of Lydia’s elopement with Wickham comes from Brighton, for Bennett family.character of Elizabeth Bennet

       Elizabeth Bennet shows her far-sightedness another time when she tells her aunt, Mrs Gardiner, that Wickham is a charming youth. He is skilful in getting sympathy from the other people and is consummate in attracting the girls. By attracting females, he only wants to take undue advantage of these women and girls.

Lydia is no exception in this case. She is a girl who has no experience of life and she will not be able to understand the real intentions of such a wicked person like Wickham. In Elizabeth’s opinion, there is little chance that Wickham will marry her sister Lydia.  She fears that Lydia may be easily trapped in Wickham’s lust.

The same things happen, as was fear of Elizabeth, Wickham tries to escape from marrying  Lydia, though he does not get success in his evil intention. In this way, Elizabeth’s analysis of Wickham and Lydia proves correct once again.

She is always concerned for her family:

One more quality of Elizabeth Bennet is her concern for the goodness of her family. In her family, though there are her mother and her two sisters kitty and Lydia who often give chance to others to laugh at them, she can’t tolerate the insult of her family/ her family members.

When she gets the information of Lydia’s elopement with Wickham; while she (Elizabeth) was with her uncle and aunt (Mr.and Mrs.Gardiner) at Lambton, she becomes very nervous and sad with the thought that the Bennett family will not be as respected as it was earlier, now it will have to face disgrace due to Lydia’s shameful act.

She becomes restless and decides to go home at once to console and help her parents and Jane who is also feeling uncomfortable due to Lydia’s immoral conduct.

Very close to her father and jane:

It is often seen, children, especially, girls are close to the mothers. But Elizabeth is the exception to it; she is closely attached to her father. Mr Bennet Who loves her very much. She used to go to the library of her father and used to talk with him for many hours.

       One more notable point of Elizabeth is her attachment to Jane, her elder sister. Sisters in a family always love each other, but there is something exceptional, special and extraordinary in the love and affection of Elizabeth for Jane Bennett.

When Mr Bingley, the lover of Jane and intimate friend of Fitzwilliam Darcy, has left Netherfield Park, perhaps never to come back, Elizabeth drowned in the sea of sorrow and felt constantly worried about jane. Though Jane assures Elizabeth that she would forget all these sorrowful incidents,

She (Elizabeth) knows very well that she is inwardly very distressed. The main concern of Elizabeth is now to bring back the happiness in Jane’s life. Somewhere else, Such affection for a sister is rarely seen and, undoubtedly, this is Elizabeth’s one of the most important qualities.

Bold and full of self-confidence:

Elizabeth Bennet’s boldness and her self-confidence are some other praiseworthy characteristics which provide prominence to her character in the novel. She neither finds herself nervous; nor uncomfortable In the company of those persons who are above in social status in comparison to her.

For example, when she was at Netherfield Park, with the sole purpose to look after  Jane who was suffering from illness; Elizabeth there participated actively in conversation with Mr. and Miss Bingley and with Fitzwilliam Darcy as well. On many occasions, she contradicted them and expressed her own point of view; different from theirs.

       At the Rosing Park, when Mary and Sir William pay a visit to Lady Catherine’s Mansion, with Elizabeth, they both (Mary and Sir William) are greatly impressed by her (Lady Catherine) mansion’s glory; but Elizabeth remains cool, calm and unmoved.

She is not worried about Lady Catherine’s awkward questions.  When Lady Catherine pays a visit to Longbourn, she (Elizabeth) does not pay any attention to her threats and firmly rejects to give her the promise which Lady Catherine has demanded from her. 

Admitting mistake:

 When Elizabeth first meets Philip Wickham, she is impressed by his great personality and civilized manners. It is later known, he is not a gentleman but a villain.  Elizabeth knowing her mistake in judging the character of Wickham, is filled with self-reproach.

She was not only attracted by his charming personality but on the basis of his views about Darcy, she thought him (Darcy) a wicked and arrogant person. But when the truth is revealed Elizabeth, she not only admits her mistake but is filled with deep regret and her opinion reverses for both of them (Wickham and Darcy).

Her faults: 

Hasty decision making, and not testing the authenticity of that information which is provided by others is a big flaw of Elizabeth Bennet. Her prejudice against Darcy which was based on Wickham’s opinion may be an example in this context.

       She does not like Mr.Collins.Though Collins is a fool and a clown, Elizabeth in her criticism of his character is rather hostile and uses harsh language to condemn him.

Interference in the matter of others is another fault of Elizabeth Bennet. She not only rejected the marriage proposal of Mr Collins but when her friend Charlotte Lucas accepted his proposal, she (Elizabeth) took it negatively and was not happy with her (Ms.Lucas) decision.

Conclusion:

Elizabeth Bennet is the heroine of the novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’. She is the second daughter of Mr and Mrs Bennet. She is witty, far-sighted, wise and bold. She is closely attached to her family. Though,

 She has some faults, but her virtues are more than her shortcomings, and all those virtues of Elizabeth Bennet make her the most impressive and lovable character of Jane Austen’s novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

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