Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Elizabeth Bennet

Extended Character Analysis

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. Elizabeth is often judgmental, and although she does not truly know Mr. Darcy, she almost immediately judges his character as haughty and proud.

Although Elizabeth is prone to prejudice, she is also open and kind to those who are kind to her. This impulse towards reciprocity allows Elizabeth to easily bond with the charming and attentive Mr. Wickham, a stark contrast to the cold and rude Mr. Darcy. Due to her bad first impression of Darcy, Elizabeth is quick to believe Wickham’s lies about Mr. Darcy’s awful treatment of him. Elizabeth even considers Mr.Wickham a love interest for a short time. Meanwhile, each chance meeting between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy increases Mr. Darcy’s affections for Elizabeth and deepens Elizabeth’s dislike of Mr. Darcy. When Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bingley, and Mr. Bingley’s sisters leave Netherfield for London, Elizabeth finds herself grateful for Mr. Darcy’s absence, even if Mr. Bingley’s leaving hurts her sister Jane.

Elizabeth meets Mr. Darcy again while visiting the Collinses near the Hunsford parsonage in Rosing’s Park. While there, Elizabeth finds out from Colonel Fitzwilliam that Mr. Darcy was responsible for convincing Mr. Bingley to leave Netherfield and to stop courting her sister Jane. Mr. Darcy calls on her during her visit and, to her surprise, he proposes to her. Elizabeth wholly rejects him and wounds his pride by implying that he did not behave in a...

(The entire section is 633 words.)