Illustration of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy with neutral expressions on their faces

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen
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How is Elizabeth characterized as a wife, a daughter, and a sister in Pride and Prejudice?

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Daughter: Elizabeth Bennett, the protagonist of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice, is an unusually independent-minded young woman for her period. She clearly sees the faults of both her mother and father. She is frustrated by her mother's lack of culture and intellect and finds her public persona embarrassing. She is more tolerant of her father's faults and has more sympathy for him, perhaps because they are intellectual equals, with a tendency towards enjoying and mocking the foibles of their fellow creatures.

Sister: Elizabeth is seen as a loyal and loving towards her sister Jane, bravely undergoing considerable discomfort to nurse her when she falls ill. Jane is her friend and confidant as well as her sister, although despite their closeness, Elizabeth tends to consider herself smarter and more perceptive than her more trusting sibling. She is less close with her younger sisters and is often a bit embarrassed or frustrated by their behavior. 

Wife: As the marriage of Darcy and Elizabeth occurs at the end of the novel, we do not really see it in much detail; however, through their courtship Elizabeth expresses eloquently that she believes that marriage should be based on mutual respect and affection, and she and Darcy share many interests and beliefs in common.

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