Showing posts with label Pride and Prejudice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pride and Prejudice. Show all posts

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Use of Dramatic Elements in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

The novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen has several characteristics of a drama. The novel shares such leading qualities of a drama as dialogue, character development, plot, theme, action and dramatic irony. The use of these dramatic devices makes the novel interesting to read.


The novel opens with dialogue. It provides the substance of the play. Dialogue is used to show the characters speaking directly to each other which give the reader access to the thoughts and emotions of the characters. It grows intimacy between characters and audience.

“My dear Mr. Bennet,” said his lady to him one day, “have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?”

All of Austen’s many characters come alive through dialogue. Long, unwieldy speeches are rare and in their place, the reader hears the crackle of quick, witty conversation. True nature reveals itself in the way the characters speak: Mr. Bennet’s emotional detachment comes across in his dry wit, while Mrs. Bennet’s hysterical excess drips from every sentence she utters. Austen’s dialogue often serves to reveal the worst aspects of her characters—Miss Bingley’s spiteful, snobbish attitudes are readily apparent in her words, and Mr. Collins’s long-winded speeches carry with them a tone-deaf pomposity that defines his character perfectly. Dialogue can also conceal bad character traits: Wickham, for instance, hides his rogue’s heart beneath the patter of pleasant, witty banter, and he manages to take Elizabeth in with his smooth tongue. Ultimately, though, good conversational ability and general goodness of personality seem to go hand in hand. Pride and Prejudice is the story of Darcy and Elizabeth’s love, and for the reader, that love unfolds through the words they share.


The plot of a drama involves unexpected turns, suspense and climax. In pride and Prejudice we find some turning points which motivate the novel such as Darcy and Elizabeth’s first meet at the Meryton ball. Darcy’s Pride arouses Elizabeth’s prejudice. Darcy refuses to dance with Elizabeth upon Bingley’s request, saying that Elizabeth is no handsome enough to tempt him. Elizabeth hears this comment and greatly hurt. She immediately takes a view about Mr. Darcy that he will be a man of arrogant personality.

However through the Bingely-Bennet friendship Darcy and Elizabeth are brought into each other’s company. Again Jane’s illness at Netherfield brings the two together again. And it is the beginning of his admiration for her.

Now the audience becomes suspicious when Mrs. Bennet’s garrulous vulgarity turns Darcy away from his interest in Elizabeth and leads him to take the docile Bingley to London. Moreover Elizabeth’s initial prejudice is deepened by the smooth lies of Wickham against Darcy. She accepts at face value everything that Wickham says about Mr. Darcy. Mr. Wickham professes to be discrete and hints that he would not defame anybody’s character, but he defames Darcy. Elizabeth would not have tolerated such a conversation if anybody except the disagreeable Mr. Darcy were the subject of the talk. As a result, Elizabeth forms an even more unfavorable opinion about Mr. Darcy than she had formed before. Her prejudice turns into hatred.

As an another principal turning point the two meet again when Elizabeth is visiting Charlotte Collins and Darcy is visiting his aunt Lady Catherine at Rosings. Darcy’s old interest is revived with increased fervor.

Now we see the struggle in Darcy’s mind between his pride and love for Elizabeth with the handicaps of such relations as Collins, Lydia, Kitty, Mary, Mrs. Bennet and the inferior family connection with trade. Love wins enough of a victory to bring him to the point of proposing.

The chief climax of the main story occurs when Darcy proposes to Elizabeth at Rosings and is refused. Darcy constantly emphasizes the struggles and obstacles that he had to overcome in order to make him this step. Rather than emphasizing his love, he constantly refers to all the obstacles which he has had to overcome. This proposal completely stuns Elizabeth. She thinks that Mr. Darcy is only seeking a wife who is so inferior as to be ever grateful for a chance to be his wife. She rejects his proposal without least hesitation and she gives her reasons for her refusal. She mentions his past ill- treatment to Mr. Wickham and she tells him that he was responsible for breaking up between Jane and Bingley. And finally she accuses him not behaving in a gentleman- like manner. The denouement is reached with his second proposal and this time acceptance.

On the very next day, Mr. Darcy hands over to Elizabeth a letter which contains a defense of him against the charges which she had leveled against him. There is much logic in this defense and Elizabeth is deeply affected by it. She is forced to acknowledge the justice of his claims as regards Wickham, his criticism of her family and even his claims concerning Jane. She comes to a self realization. Suddenly, she cannot remember anything that Mr. Darcy has ever done which was not honorable and just, while Mr. Wickham has often been imprudent in his comments. Previously, she had called Jane blind, and now she has gained a moral insight into her own character and sees that she has also been blind. Consequently, Elizabeth’s character increases in depth as she is able to analyze herself and come to those realizations. This self- recognition established her as a person capable of changing and growing.

Meanwhile, the youngest Bennet, Lydia, rushes into an ill-advised romance with Wickham, an officer who at first appears charming and trustworthy. Wickham fails in a ruthless attempt to marry a rich northern woman and impulsively elopes with the naive Lydia. The 16-year-old girl speaks recklessly, acts offensively, and must gratify her impulses instantly. Lydia fails to see that running off with Wickham scandalizes her family.

Darcy shows his true mettle by secretly helping Charles return to Jane, by ensuring that Wickham and Lydia return to Longbourn as a married couple with an income, and by proposing again to Elizabeth with new humility. Shamed, Elizabeth recognizes many of her misjudgments and accepts Darcy's proposal. Their personalities soften and blend beautifully.

Another coincidence brings Elizabeth and Darcy at Pemberly House. He is very warm and friendly and inquires of her family. There is no trace of haughtiness in the manner in which he now talks to her and to her relatives. Even more, when she learns the role which Darcy has played in Lydias marriage, she becomes strongly inclined towards him.

In this changed circumstances Mr. Darcy arrives at Netherfield and proposes marriage to her. This time she gladly accepts the proposal because she has now begun to think that Mr. Darcy is truly a gentleman. He also tells Elizabeth that it was her frankness which had finally revealed to him his shortcomings. He also admits that he encouraged Bingley to propose Jane. Elizabeth also honestly confesses the change in her feelings and the two lovers are finally happy.

A plot also centers on a single interest and other sub-actions become involved to it. There is a quite compact plot in Pride and Prejudice. In Pride and Prejudice the main story of Elizabeth and Darcy runs throughout the whole narrative. Minor stories, kept under complete control, are never permitted to obtrude and are always made to contribute to the main story.

Secondary plots revolve about Jane and Bingley, Lydia and Wickham, Mr. Collins, Miss Bingley’s schemes, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. The action is developed around the gradual coming together of Elizabeth and Darcy and their ultimate happiness. The secondary figures act as foils to the main characters and interact with them to help bring about the final resolution.


In a drama the characters show significant development. The characters of a drama suffer from their mistakes and finally learn many lessons. In the same way, here in this novel we also see the development of characters. The characters who mostly develop are Elizabeth and Darcy.

Jane Austen’s characters evolve the drama. Throughout the novel, the characters, like in a drama are developed gradually or step by step. They are placed in different contexts in which he encounter each other and help reveal their personalities. Darcy and Elizabeth, for example, undergrow significant changes throughout the novel.

Letter plays an important role to develop the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy.

Darcy’s first letter to Elizabeth makes her even more prejudiced against Darcy but at the same time begin to think deeply about Wickham’s previous story.

Darcy writes his first letter in such a way as if he is showing favor to her, which exhibits his pride. She rejects his proposal without least hesitation and she gives her reasons for her refusal. She mentions his past ill- treatment to Mr. Wickham and she tells him that he was responsible for breaking up between Jane and Bingley. And finally she accuses him not behaving in a gentleman- like manner. This final accusation gives a serious blow to Darcy. This is a turning point for his self realization.

Elizabeth learns lessons and changes the way she thinks about some situations. An extremely rich and famous man, one of the most sought after men in the country falls in love with Elizabeth, and although she initially rejects his proposals of marriage, thinking him too proud, does slowly fall in love with him, realizing his pride was only shyness, and they become engaged. She admits her own faults and overcomes her prejudice against Mr. Darcy and she becomes aware of her own social and emotional prejudice. When her friend Charlotte marries Mr. Collins, Elizabeth condemns the marriage as ridiculous but comes to understand and accept the position her friend was in. The marriage between Mr. Collins and Charlotte is based on economics rather than on love.

Elizabeth regards Jane as more noble and kind-hearted than herself. Jane is slightly naive, she expects all people to have pure and good motives for everything and seeks to find good in everyone. She has not shown much emotion to Bingley's advances, though she accepts them. She shows little of the same sentiment, although this is just her nature, this is what made Darcy think Jane would not be much hurt if Bingley left her. This is untrue, she suffers the loss greatly, though alone and privately.

Lydia and Wickham have each other in an unhappy and impecunious marriage. Miss Bingley’s jealous envy brings only bitterness and disappointment. Mr. Bennet’s indolence and failure as a parent brings him the pain and shame of Lydia’s elopement and Lady Catherine’s arrogance brings about her humiliation in her interview with Elizabeth and her defeat in the marriage of Elizabeth and Darcy.


The title of the novel Pride and Prejudice can be interpreted as a theme running through the novel. Pride is the feeling that one is better or more important than other people and prejudice is an adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand without knowledge of the facts. When we add these two themes together, we get this novel Pride and Prejudice.

The very basis of this book is on Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen created a world in which most of the people are guilty of Pride and Prejudice and judge each other on the basis of their pride and prejudice. But pride and prejudice are not very unusual factors in this world which is based on artificial and conventional behaviors. And Jane Austen appreciates those who can come out of their Pride and Prejudice and reject the superficial behaviors. But those who can’t discard their pride and prejudice remain the objects of ridicule till the end of the novel.

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, the two central characters of the novel, for the better part of the novel is the focus of Pride and prejudice respectively. And in the later part of the novel both Darcy and Elizabeth have come out from their Pride and Prejudice respectively.


Irony is the very soul of Jane Austen’s novels and “Pride and Prejudice” is steeped in irony of theme, situation, character and narration. Irony is the contrast between appearance and reality.

The first sentence of the novel Pride and Prejudice opens with an ironic statement about marriage, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife” (1). A man with a fortune does not need a wife nearly so much as a woman is greatly in need of a wealthy husband. The entire novel is really an explanation of how women and men pursue each other prior to marriage. Jane Austen uses a variety of verbal, dramatic and situational irony through the novel.

The novel is full of verbal irony, especially coming from Elizabeth and Mr. Bennet. Verbal irony is saying one thing, but meaning the complete opposite. Although Mr. Bennet is basically a sensible man, he behaves strangely because of his sarcasm with his wife. He amuses himself by pestering his foolish wife or making insensitive remarks about his daughters. Mr. Bennet cruelly mocks his wife silliness and is shown to be sarcastic, and cynical with comments as “…you are as handsome as any of them, Mr. Bingley might like you.

In chapter 4, Elizabeth confirms her strong dislike for Darcy and criticizes Bignley’s sisters as well. She is critical of Jane for being “blind” to others. This criticism is filled with irony, because in the later part of the novel Elizabeth is blind in analyzing Darcy because of her prejudice against his pride. Shortly in the novel, Darcy grows interest in Elizabeth, but Elizabeth doesn’t notice it. Elizabeth misunderstands Darcy attraction toward her. As she was playing the piano at the parsonage, she believes that Darcy is trying to unsettle her when he stands by the piano to hear her play the piano.

Also, Darcy was blind in the beginning of the novel because he did not realize that Elizabeth possesses the qualification his future wife must have. Another dramatic irony is in chapter 39 when Elizabeth is shocked by the behavior that she sees in her family and realizes the truth Darcy has stated about the weak impression they make.

It is interesting to note that ironically, in “Pride and Prejudice”, it is the villainous character Wickham and lady Catherine – who are responsible for uniting Elizabeth and Darcy.


Another requisite of drama is action. In Pride and Prejudice there is a great deal of action, even though it is quite and seemingly unexciting. The characters of the novel do not behave in any wild or improbable way. Since the picture drawn is of everyday life and activities, it is easy for us to comprehend it and is that much more real to us.

The elements of drama, by which dramatic works can be analyzed and evaluated, are categorized into the above discussed areas. And because of the presence of these dramatic elements we can call Pride and Prejudice as a dramatic novel.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Different Attitudes to Marriage in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

In her Pride and Prejudice, Austen is almost pre-occupied with the theme of marriage. Marriage is a crucial issue of a woman’s life. But it was more crucial for the women of her society, when women mere largely dependent on their male counterparts. So, women sought financial as well as social support through marriage. But Austen did not approve of it. In her novel Pride and Prejudice gives preference to a marriage which is based on love. In her novel, Austen presents several contrasting attitudes to marriage.The five Bennet sisters - Elizabeth, or Lizzie, Jane, Lydia, Mary and Kitty - have been raised well aware of their mother's fixation on finding them husbands and securing set futures.

There are mainly four attitudes to marriage are presented in the novel: the marriage for money, marriage for the satisfaction of bodily desires, marriage based on the physical look and marriage for love.

Marriage of Mr. Collins and Charlotte:

At first, “marriage for money”- this attitude is presented through Mr. Collins and Charlotte. Both men and women of Austen’s society had internalized the idea that women were financially and socially dependent on men. Women of that time sought men above her station only for financial security. Men also understood it.

In this regard Mr. Collins is a true production of this society. He wants to “make amends” to the Bennets girl for the entail on the property by marrying one of them. It is very ridiculous that in such a matter of marriage, he is considering only the “property” not his own prudence whether the Bennet girl is fit for him or the marriage will be a proper one.

When we look at another character of this novel namely Charlotte Lucas, we see that she is also going on the same path of the society. The union between Charlotte and Mr. Collins is a good example of this marriage that brought about entirely for economic reasons. Charlotte is pessimistic about finding happiness in marriage anyway and believes she may as well marry to guidance her financial security. To her, a woman without fortune, this is an attractive basis for marriage. She, opinion on marriage and money is cleared when she advises Elizabeth not to appear unpleasant to a rich man like Darcy, a man of ten times, for a relatively poor one like Wickham. However, she contrasts greatly with Elizabeth on this issue. Whereas Elizabeth thinks that marriage depends on mutual understanding, to Charlotte “happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.” So, when Collins offers her, she without a second thought takes it thinking that he can give her “a comfortable home,” although she does not love this ridiculous clergyman.

Marriage between Darcy and Elizabeth

Finally when we observe the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth we see Austen’s own views on money and marriage. When Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth, he presumes that she is not in a position to reject him, for his standing in society has made him quite an eligible husband. Alternatively, Elizabeth clearly has a very different thought to him: “You could not make me happy.” Actually it is Elizabeth through which Austen’s on views on marriage are clearly expressed. As Elizabeth believes that the basis for marriage should be happiness and love, not money. She is uncertain of the lasting qualities of passionate love and convinced that it is not a strong enough basis for marriage. It is based on mutual esteem, respect and gratitude, and it arises from a clear sighted understanding of the other’s character. So, she does not care about Collins’s wealth and thinks that their marriage would be a bad one because they are not attracted to each other. From Darcy and Elizabeth’s character we understand that this two people are very different, and their relationships are “rationally founded”, based on “excellent understanding” and “general similarity of feeling and taste.”

Lydia and Wickham's Marriage

Lydia’s attitude to marriage is solely based on passion and physical attraction. She elopes with Wickham. It is the basest among the attitudes of the other characters. She is totally controlled by her bodily desire and passion. She neither sought social security, nor a blissful inter-assured married life. So, her attitude can be compared to the attitude of a delinquent. When we consider Wickham’s character, we find another view on money and marriage in Austen’s time. He is such a man who can easily transfer his affections from Elizabeth to Miss King, an heiress of 10,000.

Even Wickham is not going to marry Lydia until economic settlement is happened. Later we know from Mrs. Gardiner’s letter that Darcy has to pay Wickham’s debts which are more than 1000 pounds and another 1000 pounds to settle the marriage. So, we see that money matters a great deal in the marriage between them and it is without any real passions.

As in the novel, Lydia and Wickham's marriage gradually disintegrates. Lydia becomes a regular visitor at her two elder sisters’ home and “her husband was gone to enjoy himself in London or Bath."

Marriage of Jane Bennet and Bingley:

When the news comes that Mr. Bingley, a young gentleman with an annual income of 5,000 Pounds will be their new neighbor; Mrs. Bennet immediately plans to pair him with her favorite oldest, prettiest daughter-Jane. Eldest daughter Jane, serene and beautiful, seems poised to win Mr. Bingley's heart. However, unlike Darcy and Elizabeth, there is a plan in their relationships. Jane and Bingley have made their wise choice, and though their courtship has suffered temporary, they are very happily married. Of course, economic security also is there.

Marriage of Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Bennet:

Although little is told of how Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Bennet got together, it can be inferred of their conversations that their relationship was similar to that of Lydia and Wickham. Mr. Bennt had married a woman he found sexually attractive without realizing she was an unintelligent woman. Mrs. Bennet's favouritism towards Lydia and her comments on how she was once as energetic as Lydia reveals this similarity. Mr Bennet's comment on Wickham being his favourite son-in-law reinforces this parallelism.

The effect of the relationships was that Mr. Bennet would isolate himself from his family, he found refugee in his library or in mocking his wife. Mr Bennet's self-realization at the end of the novel in which he discovers that his lack of attention towards his family had lead his family to develop the way they are, was too late to save his family. Austen says about Mrs. Bennet: "she was a woman of mean understanding, little information and uncertain temperament, the business of her life was to get her daughters (P-7) marry.

Through these different attitudes to marriages, Austen tries to give us an important moral lesson. The lesson is that marriage based on other things except love cannot give us a good result. Out of the five marriages of the novel, only the marriage between Elizabeth and Darcy and Jane and Bingley bring true happiness. On the other hand, the other marriages only bring sufferings and humiliations for both husband and wife.

Jane Austen blends Realism with Romance in her Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is a complex novel mixing romance with realism. Austen used a variety of features to make the novel Pride and Prejudice seem more realistic and relevant to the period of the 19th century. At the same time it has also the touch of romance.

The plot of Pride and Prejudice is like the plot of a romance. In a romance the hero comes out and frees the heroine from her casement. In context of Pride and Prejudice we can say that Darcy is the idealized hero, who comes and frees the heroine from the social bondage. In order to free the heroine, the hero has to fight with a captor or villains. In the same way Darcy has to fight with his sisters and Lady Catherine.

The social reality for women during 18th century was that it was almost impossible to survive without a man’s care, so it was typical for a young woman to live in her father’s house until she moved into her husbands. Women would not inherit or own property, and had very few opportunities to earn their own money.

Because of this social climate, the reality is that the five Bennet sisters do not have a choice about marriage. They must marry in order to secure their financial future. Their father’s estate will be inherited by their male cousin, Mr. Collins. Austen addresses the social realities of the time and also satisfies the reader’s desire for romance by having Jane and Elizabeth’s suitors not only be rich but also be dashing, attractive and moral.

Realism of characters makes the novel more believable and they also contribute to fulfill romantic appeal of the novel.

Pride and Prejudice focuses on Elizabeth Bennet, an intelligent young woman with romantic and individualistic ideals, and her relationship with Mr. Darcy, a wealthy gentleman of very high status. At the outset of the novel, Elizabeth’s loud and dim-witted mother, her foolish younger sisters, and her beautiful older sister Jane are very excited because a wealthy gentleman, Mr. Bingley, is moving to their neighborhood. The young women are concerned about finding husbands because if Elizabeth’s father, a humorous and ironical man, were to die, the estate could be left to their pompous cousin Mr. Collins. Mr.Bingley soon becomes attached to Jane while Elizabeth grows to dislike his close friend Mr. Darcy, whom the village finds elitist and ill-tempered. Under the influence of his sisters and Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bingley eventually moves away to London. Mr. Collins, an irritating clergyman, then proposes to his cousin Elizabeth, who refuses him. He marries her friend Charlote instead. 

Though love was certainly important, it was obvious that women were dependent upon men for financial stability and that marriage was often based more on finance and social status then love. Even the marriages that the young girls observed seemed to lack love. It demonstrates a desire for something more versus the realities of the time.

Elizabeth visits Charlotte, where she and Mr. Darcy meet again at the house of his aunt. Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth, but she refuses him, partly based o her belief that he dissuaded Mr. Bingley from pursuing a relationship with Jane. In a letter to Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy explains his actions regarding Jane and Mr. Bingley, as well as the way in which he has treated his estranged childhood companion, Mr. Wickham. 

The encounter between Darcy and Elizabeth in the Darcy’s state has also the charm of a romance. Elizabeth visits Darcy’s estate with his uncle and auntie and accidentally meets Darcy. This time Elizabeth is better disposed toward him, but they are interrupted by a scandal involving Elizabeth’s sister Lydia, who has eloped with Mr. Wickham. Mr. Bennet and his brother- in –law Mr. Gardiner attempt to resolve the situation, but it is actually Mr. Darcy who resolves the situation by paying Mr. Wickham and convincing him to marry Lydia. Mr. Bingley then returns to his estate in the Bennet’s neighborhood and soon becomes engaged to Jane. Afterward, despite Lady Catherine’s attempt to prevent the engagement, Elizabeth marries Mr. Darcy.

One of the social realities explored in this book, beyond the need for a woman to secure financial security through marriage, was the importance of reputation and adhering to social standards. When Lydia runs off with Wickham, the family is distraught not only because Lydia's reputation will be hurt, but also because the entire family will be wrapped up in her disgrace. Mary's comments on the subject adequately explain the feelings of the times:

Unhappy as the event must be for Lydia, we may draw from it this useful lesson: that loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable; that one false step involves her in endless ruin; that her reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful;Mr. Collins' comments also show the seriousness of this breach of decency:
The death of your daughter would have been a blessing in comparison of this......had it been otherwise, I must have been involved in all your sorrow and disgrace.

When Lady Catherine comes to Elizabeth to try to scare her away from Darcy, she also uses Lydia's elopement as a serious strike against any alliance:
And is such a girl to be my nephew's sister? .... Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?"
At this time, a family could get by without riches, but it was impossible to get by without reputation.
A special emphasis has been placed on the way Austen portrays her character’s speech and thoughts. In this novel, dialogue is described as the most appropriate means in order to achieve a preferably close approach to reality. The dialogue in Pride and Prejudice is expanded with direct and indirect versions of speech. The vivacity of the character’s persona, their feelings and different tempers are perceptible through their dialogue and provide a narration that is as realistic as possible.

We also find the touch of romance in the dialogues. When Elizabeth Bennet meets the handsome Mr. Darcy, she believes he is the last man on earth she could ever marry. But as their lives become knotted in an unexpected adventure, she finds herself captured by the very person she swore to loathe for all eternity. Jane, also feel attraction for Mr. Bingley and it is also reflected through dialogue.

There are elements of conventional romance in the novel. Since the picture drawn is of everyday life and activities, it is easy for us to comprehend it and is that much more real to us.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice-an Atypical Woman for her Society

In what ways Elizabeth was different from her contemporary women?

Throughout Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice , there are many references to the unusual character of Elizabeth Bennet. She is seen to be an atypical female during those times. Wit, bravery, independence, and feminist views Elizabeth shares make her a totally different young woman than other women of her society.

She was not meek and so called obedient

The women of Austen’s age were expected to be meek and weak. Elizabeth, Austen’s heroine, was raised in a society that was bent on making women dependent on their husbands and families. But she shows incredible amounts of independence. Elizabeth Bennet is fearless and independent. Elizabeth Bennet is also very brave for the position in life that she is in. She knew that it would put her in a very precarious situation both financially and socially, if she denounced tradition for the sake of her principles.

Elizabeth shows this independence in two different circumstances. The first would be her dealings with Mr. Collins who is a pompous , moron. The family first comes into contact with him when it is made known that the estate is entailed on to him , their cousin , because there is no male to inherit it. Mr. Collins soon becomes infatuated with Elizabeth and asks her hand in marriage. Elizabeth is both independent and smart enough to realize that he is far from a suitable mate as she poignantly addresses the subject. Her views on this relationship are extremely humorous and true : “ You could not make me happy , and I am convinced I am the last woman in the world who would make you so” ( Austen 102 ) . To be able to turn down a suitable offer of marriage was highly unheard of back then. Elizabeth would have had to be extremely independent to do so.

She also illustrated her self-reliance in her dealings with Lady Catherine. She stood up for herself in a manner that commands respect and praise. Her exact words left no doubt in one’s mind of her independence : “I am only resolved to act in that manner , which will , in my own opinion , constitute my happiness , without reference to you , or to any person so wholly unconnected with me” ( Austen 322 ) . This statement, which was made to a lady of high society , proves that Elizabeth definitely has a will of her own.

Elizabeth seems to have very feminist views which is odd for a woman to have such views at that time in history. Alice Chandler is of the opinion that “ Elizabeth acts out a traditionally defensive female role” ( 37 ) . Elizabeth is far from defensive however. One should find her outgoing and far from traditional. She was a feminist for those times and should be praised for her accomplishments and achievements of making the female gender seem more equal towards that of men.

Elizabeth is also different from other Bennet sisters

Elizabeth is different from her other sisters. Actually by the word of “woman of 18th century” the image of a beautiful, shy, silly and headstrong woman comes to our mind. But Elizabeth is different from this common type as she is different from her other sisters.

Jane Bennet is the eldest Bennet sister and considered the most beautiful young lady in the neighborhood. Her character is contrasted with Elizabeth's as sweeter, shyer, and equally sensible, but not as clever; her most notable trait is a desire to see only the good in others. Jane is closest to Elizabeth and her character is often contrasted with Elizabeth.

Firmness and strength of mind that we find in Elizabeth’s character is completely absent in Lydia’s character. Lydia is frivolous and headstrong by nature. Her main activity in life is socializing, especially flirting with the military officers stationed in the nearby town of Meryton. After she elopes with Wickham and he is paid to marry her, she shows no remorse for the embarrassment that her actions caused for her family, but acts as if she has made a wonderful match that her sisters should be jealous of.

The character of Mary Bennet and Kitty" Bennet are quite contradictory with Elizabeth. Mary is often impatient for display while Elizabeth tries to understand human character at first. She has neither genius nor taste while Elizabeth is always appreciated for her great taste. At the ball at Netherfield, she embarrasses Elizabeth by singing badly.

Similarly "Kitty" Bennet is portrayed as a less headstrong but equally silly shadow of Lydia which is far removed from Elizabeth.

Elizabeth’ s character is not very hard to determine based on her actions , speeches, and general behavior . It is quite clear that throughout this novel there are many references to the remarkable character of Elizabeth Bennet ; who is seen to be quite clearly an atypical female during those times. It is through her intelligence , bravery , independence , and feminist views that one can make the outline of her character. Elizabeth Bennet can be seen as both an inspiration and a lesson . She should inspire all to have confidence and courage.