Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Elizabeth Bennet, a spirited and intelligent girl who represents “prejudice” in her attitude toward Fitzwilliam Darcy, whom she dislikes because of his pride. She is also prejudiced against him by Mr. Wickham, whose false reports of Darcy she believes, and hence rejects Darcy’s haughty first proposal of marriage. Yet Wickham’s elopement with her sister Lydia brings Elizabeth and Darcy together, for it is Darcy who facilitates the legal marriage of the runaways. Acknowledging her mistake in her estimation of Darcy, she gladly accepts his second proposal.
Fitzwilliam Darcy, the wealthy and aristocratic landowner who represents “pride” in the story. Attracted to Elizabeth Bennet in spite of her inferior social position, he proposes marriage, but in so high-handed a manner that she instantly refuses. The two meet again while Elizabeth is viewing the grounds of his estate in Derbyshire, and she finds him less haughty in his manner. When Lydia Bennet and Mr. Wickham elope, Darcy feels partly responsible and straightens out the unfortunate affair. Because Elizabeth now realizes his true character, he is accepted when he proposes again.
Jane Bennet, the oldest and most beautiful of the five Bennet sisters. She falls in love with Mr. Bingley, a wealthy bachelor. Their romance is frustrated, however, by his sisters with the help of Mr. Darcy, for the Bennets are considered socially undesirable. As a result of the change in the feelings of Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet toward each other, Jane and Bingley are finally married.
Mr. Bingley, a rich, good-natured bachelor...
(The entire section is 710 words.)
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