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

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

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How would you describe Kitty's character in Pride and Prejudice?

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Kitty Bennet is the fourth of the five Bennet sisters in the novel Pride and Prejudice. She is seventeen years old, and two years older than the youngest Bennet, Lydia.  It is interesting that Kitty is older than Lydia and yet Lydia seems to control Kitty almost entirely.  One of the ways in which Lydia leads over Kitty is in her interest in boys, particularly men in uniform. Lydia is by far the most loose of all the sisters. She is also the most aggressive in terms of man hunting, and the “silliest” as Mr. Bennet would agree with himself. Therefore, Kitty is Lydia’s most faithful followers.

Since Lydia seems to be the sister with the boldest personality, she overshadows Kitty. Kitty lacks the courage and vivacity of Lydia, so instead of competing with her like most sisters would she became her cohort and, perhaps, even used her as a way to attract boys.  Kitty is also an enabler to Lydia and the one who keeps her secrets. This is why Kitty kept it to herself that Lydia was planning on eloping with Wickham, and kept the secret even knowing that Lydia’s elopement could affect her own reputation and the reputation of her sisters.

Therefore, we could describe Kitty as co-dependent of Lydia, as a follower, as sheepish, and as a weak character of a woman. We cannot say she did anything extraordinary anywhere in the story, or that she even stood up for herself at any point. Even Mary, the plainest and least likeable of the sisters, at some point showed a voice and a role within the family. Kitty, however, falls short from being a solid character and is more like a shadow of Lydia than anything else.

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