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Pride and Prejudice

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Julia G

on 19 February 2013

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Transcript of Pride and Prejudice

Elizabeth Bennet
Pride and Prejudice by Sarah Bell, Hayley Bohn, Megan Cansfield,
Julia Grant, Jillianne Hook Cons of Elizabeth's Character What Would Elizabeth
Say? To Jane: About Darcy: To Darcy: Overly Outspoken Stubborn Quick to Judge Intelligent and Perceptive Polite yet Individual Witty Pros of Elizabeth's Character Elizabeth is very observant and is a generally a good judge of character, despite a tendency to stick with her prejudices if she is wrong about a person (e.g. Darcy). She will stay loyal to those she holds in high esteem. She is clever and converses brilliantly, as seen in many interactions with Darcy and others at balls. This quality is aided by her keen ability to read situations and people. She is characterized as intelligent and realistic to contrast with more foolish and trivial women, like Mrs. Bennet, Lydia, and Kitty. Elizabeth is very perceptive and intelligent, yet she is sometimes too quick to judge the character of those she observes. She usually is reluctant to drastically alter these first impressions, and they influence her perceptions of the other characters throughout the book. This can be seen especially when she takes Mr. Wickham's side in his story because she finds him immediately charming. She is eager to find Mr. Darcy in an unflattering light in the story because she formed a negative first impression of him. Elizabeth is very stubborn, so she does not very easily forgive an insult or a slight. She holds grudges and can sometimes come to resent people, such as Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy, for example, tries to show Elizabeth that he is a better person than the first impression he made on her, but she refuses to see his efforts. She is blinded by her pride and her prejudices. Her pride was injured by Mr. Darcy, so she will remain true to the prejudice she formed against him for his haughty manners. In this way, her usually perceptive eye is blinded by her stubborn nature. This occasionally injures her relationships. Her relationship is damaged when Elizabeth stubbornly refuses to see that Charlotte has a different opinion of Mr. Collins and marriage than she does. Elizabeth's outspoken nature can be her greatest strength and her greatest weakness. It allows her to express her unique character and her opinions of society, but it can occasionally get her in trouble. She is not sensitive to others feelings sometimes, and she sometimes expresses herself when she should not. For example, she injures both Mr. Darcy and Charlotte because she does not take their feelings into consideration before she tells them her opinion, even if it is correct. "There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense." "I could easily forgive HIS pride, if he had not mortified MINE." "I am no longer surprised at your knowing ONLY six accomplished women. I wonder now at your knowing ANY." -This quote shows Elizabeth's surprisingly cynical attitude towards her society, hinting at Austen's disdain for her society. However, when it is done in Elizabeth's teasing tone, it comes off as more playful than condemning. -This quote shows that although Elizabeth blames Darcy for his pride, she suffers from pride issues as well. In addition, it hints at a deeper theme that you should remove the plank from our own eye before judging the speck of sawdust in your neighbor's eye. -This quote shows Elizabeth's realism, her playfulness and her wit. She is very realistic, but she is very light in her reproach. This is one of her more admirable qualities. When she wants to correct something, she does so firmly but politely. Elizabeth: an Eye into Regency-Era Society Elizabeth acts as the lens through which Jane Austen suggests the reader should view the society at the time. Her perceptiveness is a key component of fulfilling that purpose because it allows her to understand the society around her. Her spirited and free-thinking nature also allow her to recognize the pros and cons of their way of life, as opposed to following it blindly. She provides a critical perspective for the reader to view the societal practices of the time. Elizabeth's wit and perceptiveness play key roles in conveying Austen's ideas of society at the time and her main purpose in writing the novel. Elizabeth, unlike her mother and younger sisters, has a very cynical view of love and marriage. She doesn't like the idea of marrying for money or position in society, and she isn't particularly understanding when Charlotte chooses to sacrifice love for a stable future. Her characterization as a strong-willed, independent young woman reflects Austen's opposition to the emphasis her society placed on making a good marriage. However, though she disliked some of her society's customs at the time, Austen shows more amusement through her satire than outright disdain. She takes on a style of narration similar to how Elizabeth might narrate the story, giving even more insight into the ideas of her main character. Austen chooses to create a strong, intelligent heroine in order to represent her own views of society: Elizabeth rebels against certain aspects of society without rejecting it completely. Austen shows that some traditions worked well and others needed to change, and her idea that love should be present in a marriage is very clear. Elizabeth's intelligence and makes her witty in conversation, able to hold her own with men. She defies her society's traditional view of women because she will speak her mind, as she does when she deflects Mr. Darcy's advances, and is not overly centered on fitting the typical profile of the 'ideal' woman for the time period. Elizabeth stays true to her own values, as shown when she rejects Mr. Collins' proposal despite the circumstances being beneficial for her family. These qualities in Elizabeth reflect Austen's wish that women would be more headstrong, assertive and free of society's defined expectations for them. Elizabeth is not outspoken to the point of being rude or irritating; she says what she truly thinks and feels, but she always does so at an appropriate time. She also retains her individuality and forms her own opinions. These characteristics are seen in Elizabeth's interactions with Mr. Collins and Charlotte after the proposal, and also in banter with Mr. Darcy at dances. This reflects the central theme that women should be able to show adherence to the social code but also be themselves and speak their minds.
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