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Character Of Elizabeth Bennet Essay

1743 words - 7 pages

The Character of Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice

"Pride and Prejudice" the novel by Jane Austin has a main theme of romance, but many other sub themes are present. I intend to demonstrate that Elizabeth Bennet is an interesting character in the book.

The man plot of the story revolves around Elizabeth (or Eliza) Bennet, who belongs to a family of five sisters, and her relationship with eligible bachelor Mr Darcy. However, "Pride and Prejudice" is a very complex novel, with many different subplots going on. One of these is the relationship between Eliza's older sister Jane, and Bingley, Darcy's friend. There are many misunderstandings within their courtship ...view middle of the document...

This greatly surprises the Netherfield party, but Eliza appears unconcerned. She mostly stays by Jane's bedside during the visit, preferring her company to the superciliousness of Miss Bingley and Hurst. Jane becomes very fond of Mr Bingley, and she is quite upset when she hears of his departure. It is only Elizabeth that she confides in, and that tries to cheer her up. Her spirits raise for a short time, but when the letter arrives informing her that the Netherfield party intend to stay in London for the winter, she becomes downhearted once more. She attempt to conceal her emotions from Elizabeth, but to no avail

"Elizabeth looked at her sister with incredulous solicitude, but said nothing.

"You doubt me," cried Jane, slightly colouring"

Whilst visiting Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Elizabeth learns that Darcy discouraged Bingley from continuing his relationship with Jane, and this sets Elizabeth in a flurry of emotions. She feels a mixture of hatred for Darcy and anxiety and pity for her sister, "The agitation and tears which the subject occasioned...". When later, Darcy confesses his love for her, she holds no bars in expressing her opinion of his interference, "do you think consideration would tempt me to accept the man who has been the means of ruining, perhaps forever, the happiness of a beloved sister?" When Darcy explains his actions, Elizabeth can't bring herself to tell Jane about it, and so feels "anxiety on Jane's behalf". She "dared not relate" the information.

When she hears news of the family crisis (Lydia's elopement with Wickham) while visiting Pemberly, Darcy's residence, Elizabeth is desperate to return home, and the two have a tearful reunion., "she affectionately embraced her, whilst tears filled the eyes of both...". The conversations between the them greatly help to ease each other's fears over the elopement, and, as always, they are there for each other. When Bingley returns, Elizabeth is ecstatic for Jane, and when their engagement is announced "Elizabeth's congratulations were given with a sincerity, a warmth, a delight, which words could poorly express".

When Elizabeth herself becomes engaged to Darcy, Jane is the first person she tells. "My sole dependence was on you; I am sure nobody else will believe me if you do not". Jane is, of course, happy for Elizabeth, yet wonders on her change of opinion on Darcy. Here follows a touching a humorous scene in which Eliza and Darcy's relationship is discussed openly. Elizabeth and Jane share a very close friendship, and the way that Elizabeth gently teases Jane, and her huge affection for her sister make Elizabeth seem fascinating and adds great value to the character.

Other than Elizabeth, Darcy is probably the most crucial character, and their changing relationship is another interesting aspect of the novel. When the pair first meet, they do not get on well. Elizabeth takes a particular disliking to him after his haughty...

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