Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice book cover
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At a Glance

  • Elizabeth Bennet is the young, quick-witted protagonist.
  • Fitzwilliam Darcy is a wealthy and at first prideful man who falls in love with Elizabeth.
  • Lydia Bennet is Elizabeth's headstrong and audacious younger sister.
  • Mr. Wickham is Lydia's suitor and the villain of the novel.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are Elizabeth's parents. They are mismatched in character and in marriage. 
  • Jane Bennet is Elizabeth's beautiful and sweet older sister.
  • Mr. Bingley is Jane's affable and rich suitor.

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Characters

Elizabeth Bennet

Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine of Pride and Prejudice, is the second-eldest Bennet daughter. She is intelligent, spirited, and opinionated. Elizabeth is closest to her older sister, Jane, and serves as a foil to Jane’s innocent and trusting character. Upon Elizabeth’s and Mr. Darcy’s first meeting, he calls Elizabeth “tolerable . . . but not handsome enough to tempt me,” wounding her pride and spurring her prejudice against him. (Read our extended character analysis of Elizabeth Bennet.)

Mr. Darcy

Fitzwilliam Darcy, or Mr. Darcy, is the shy, wealthy, and aristocratic landowner of Pemberley. He is a socially awkward character, which makes him initially come across as cold, haughty, and prideful. Mr. Darcy is judgmental towards those of a lower class than he is. When his good friend Mr. Bingley buys an estate in the countryside near Meryton, Mr. Darcy acts as though he can’t stand the local people; during a ball hosted by Mr. Bingley, Mr. Darcy claims “any savage can dance,” showing his contempt for the whole affair. (Read our extended character analysis of Mr. Darcy.)

Lydia Bennet

Lydia Bennet, the youngest daughter of the Bennet family, is flighty and audacious. Lydia shows a general disregard for those around her and is often wasteful and silly. For most of the novel, Lydia runs about Meryton with Catherine (Kitty ) Bennet, her closest sister, flirting with the...

(The entire section is 383 words.)