Qualities of an individual magnify their personality to make them seem ???larger than life??? and more appealing to others. In the world of literature, authors often mimic this idea by creating characters with charismatic and colorful traits to captivate readers. Jane Austen is perhaps one of the best known authors who develops on powerful personalities in her work. In Austen??™s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet??™s prestigious qualities make her one of the most beloved characters in literature.
Her character traits appeal to audiences because they are accessible in human nature and cause her protrude among the other characters. Elizabeth Bennet??™s independence, intelligence, and imperfections accumulate to form a ???larger than life??? character in Pride and Prejudice.Elizabeth??™s independent personality guides her to be incessantly stubborn and naturally bold. As a strong character living in a strict society full of rules, Elizabeth fights against conventions while looking for happiness. She fears nothing, and instead deals with every situation courageously, determinedly, and independently. For example, during her visit to Rosings Park, she sits and listens to Lady Catherine de Bourgh boast about her wealth and give unwanted advice. Lady Catherine asks, ??????Do your sisters play and sing” “One of them does.
” “Why did not you all learn You ought all to have learned. The Miss Webbs all play, and their father has not so good an income as yours. Do you draw” “No, not at all.” “What, none of you” “Not one.” “??¦Upon my word,” said her ladyship, “you give your opinion very decidedly for so young a person.
Pray, what is your age” “With three younger sisters grown up,” replied Elizabeth, smiling, “your ladyship can hardly expect me to own it.” Lady Catherine seemed quite astonished at not receiving a direct answer; and Elizabeth suspected herself to be the first creature who had ever dared to trifle with so much dignified impertinence??? (142-143).The dialogue between Lady Catherine and Elizabeth is obvious proof of her boldness and self-confidence. She withholds personal information regardless of the old woman??™s societal rank, which symbolizes rebellion against social standards. The reader cannot help but be impressed by Elizabeth??™s challenge to Lady Catherine??™s snobbish and meddling questions.
She is unafraid to speak her mind, whether or not her opinions fit the hearer??™s expectation or the social regulations placed upon her. She expresses her thoughts freely and candidly, however her responses are never wild and irresponsible because she validates what she believes is true. Elizabeth??™s confrontation with Lady Catherine later in the novel also provides solid evidence of this attribute. When Lady Catherine realizes her nephew??™s feelings for Lizzy, she travels to Longbourne to oppose the relationship. To her surprise, Elizabeth stands up to her saying, ???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. The confrontation clearly exhibits Lizzy??™s bold determination and self-taught independence. Another of Elizabeth??™s attributes that contribute to her independence is her stubborn, unyielding nature, such as her determination to walk all the way to Netherfield to be with Jane. Although the carriage is unavailable, she declares a solution- she will walk.
Mrs. Bennet asks how she ???can think of such a thing, in all this dirt!??? However, Lizzy responds by saying, ???The distance is nothing, when one has a motive; only three miles. I shall be back by dinner??? (26). Her appearance after walking three miles through mud may very well affect her social image; nevertheless, Elizabeth pays no attention to her mother??™s pestering. Her only concern is Jane??™s health, and she has no intention of changing her initial decision.
Elizabeth Bennet is fully aware of the consequences of her actions and the conventions of society, but these constraints cannot change her thoughts, feelings, values, or behaviors, thus making her inspirational and ???larger than life??? to readers. Elizabeth is a young woman with exceptional intelligence that is shown not only through her quick tongue and wit, but also in her talent for observation. She loves watching others??™ behaviors to find out more about them because she believes ???intricate characters are the most amusing??? (35). Her strength of mind is one of Elizabeth??™s personality that attracts the readers of Pride and Prejudice. Other characters, like her father for example, notice that she has ???something more of quickness than her sisters??? (3). The readers enjoy Elizabeth??™s keen capability of observation through her precise judgments of Mr. Bingley, Miss Bingley, Mr.
Collins, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh. With brilliant observation, she easily sees through Miss Bingley to her real nature as a proud and conceited woman. Due to her rationality and quick surveillance, Lizzy is able to successfully draw pictures of others??™ personalities in her mind. At the end of the novel, when all misunderstandings are swept away, Elizabeth asks Darcy to explain why he has fallen in love with her. Jokingly, she asks if he loves her for her ???impertinence???, but he replies, ???For the liveliness of your mind, I did??? (327).
His words validate that Lizzy??™s quickness of mind, cleverness, and keen observation help her find happiness throughout the novel. People, notwithstanding age, gender, or social position, have their own weaknesses and Elizabeth is not an exception. She likes taking ironic amusement from others??™ absurdities and hypocrisies and is quick to make fun of them, although she is a hypocrite as well because she judges others before looking at her own mistakes.
She prides herself on her own rational thinking and believes that the decisions she makes are always accurate. In chapter five, Mary best distinguishes pride saying, ???Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us??? (15). Elizabeth represents both aspects of the novel??™s title, being both proud and prejudiced.
She is initially quick to make judgments and absolutely confident in her powers of observation. However, Elizabeth is one of the few characters in the novel who has enough courage to acknowledge her faults and deficiencies, thus making her admirable and more charismatic to the reader. She is driven by her pride and prejudice for a long time, leading to her misjudgments about Wickham and Darcy. Her slanted first impressions of the two show that she is human and can be wrong, but what makes her superior to other one-dimensional characters like Lydia, Lady Catherine, or Mr. Collins, who do not realize their own absurdities, is that she dares to admit her own flaws, mistakes, and unjust opinions of the others. For example, when Lizzy is invited to Rosings, she is criticized by Lady Catherine for her skill at playing the piano, but instead of hiding her embarrassment, she openly admits, ???I have always supposed it to be my own fault because I would not take the trouble of practicing. It is not that I do not believe my fingers as capable as any other womans of superior execution??? (150).
Acknowledgement and criticism of her own character flaw not only reflects her awareness and confidence, but also incites the readers??™ respect for her. Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine of Pride and Prejudice, seems larger than life to the reader because of her quick-witted intelligence, boldly independent nature, and flawed personality. Through her thoughts, words, and actions no one can deny Elizabeth??™s intellectual strength and unyielding self-determination that shine throughout the novel. She is brave enough to not only confront others??™ and speak her true mind, but also to face her own flaw- pride and prejudice.
By accepting the fact that she misjudges Darcy and Wickham, Elizabeth sharpens her ability of observing other characters. The reader is drawn to her because of her keen observation, boldness to speak her mind, and acceptance to change her flawed character traits. Her charismatic and colorful personality traits make her one of the most beloved heroines in literature.Works CitedAusten, Jane. Pride and Prejudice.
New York: Bantam Dell, 2003. Print.