In Pride and Prejudice, are Lizzie and Charlotte similar?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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In the novel Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth (Lizzie) Bennet and Charlotte Lucas are neighbors and very good friends. Elizabeth is the outspoken one and the one who keeps her ideals in check.Charlotte is more of the listener and a bit of a push over compared to Elizabeth, who is a natural initiator.

Charlotte is the only daughter of Sir Lucas and Lady Lucas, and is kept under their watchful eye. Like Mrs. Bennet, Mrs. Lucas also knows that women needed to be married in order to occupy a place in society. In that case, it can be said that Lizzie and Charlotte were both bullied by their mothers into getting married.

However, when Mr. Collins came to visit the Bennet estate and proposed to Elizabeth, everyone was shocked to see that she turned him down. Elizabeth was clear in that she wanted to marry someone she could love, and not to just get married out of obligation.

In the end, Charlotte ended up accepting Mr. Collins although she admitted to not liking him very much. She even said that she would marry so that she would be able to have some property, have a place of her own, and live a life of complacency.

Elizabeth was quite disappointed that Charlotte would give up her freedom for such a miserable cause. In the end, we find out that Elizabeth was right all along: Living with Mr. Collins was almost intolerable and Charlotte Lucas was clearly not happy. Elizabeth was able to find the man of her dreams, and was right about abiding by her own rules for living.

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