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Shvoong Home>Books>Classic Literature>Pride and Prejudice -Character Analysis Review

Pride and Prejudice -Character Analysis

Article Review   by:vas     Original Author: Jane Austen
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Analysis of Major Characters Of Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth BennetThe second daughter in the Bennet family and the most intelligent and quick-witted-Elizabeth is the protagonist of Pride and Prejudice. Her admirable qualities are numerous—she is lovely, clever and converses as brilliantly as anyone. Her honesty, virtue and lively wit enable her to rise above the nonsense and bad behavior that pervade her class-bound and often spiteful society. Nevertheless, her sharp tongue and tendency to make hasty judgments often lead her astray. The book through Elizabeth teaches how one must overcome one's own personal failings to find love. Elizabeth has to cope with a hopeless mother, a distant father, two badly behaved younger siblings and snobbish, antagonising females while navigating familial and social turmoil. When she recognises the nobility of Darcy's character, she repents for the error of her initial prejudice against him.Fitzwilliam DarcyThe son of a wealthy, noble family and the master of the great estate of Pemberley -Darcy is Elizabeth's male counterpart. Intelligent and forthright, he too has a tendency to judge too hastily and harshly. His lineage and wealth make him proud and overly conscious of his social status. Indeed his haughtiness makes him initially bungle his courtship with Elizabeth. When after her rejection Darcy demonstrates his continued devotion to Elizabeth his goodness comes to forth. In spite of dislike for her low connections he rescues Lydia and then goes against wishes of his aunt Lady Bourgh by continuing to pursue Elizabeth. Darcy proves himself worthy of Elizabeth and they are united in matrimony.Jane Bennet and Charles BingleyElizabeth's beautiful elder sister Jane and Darcy's wealthy best friend Bingley engage in a courtship that occupies a central place in the novel. Despite their centrality to the narrative they are vague characters and sketched by Austen rather than carefully drawn. Indeed they very similar in nature. Both are cheerful, friendly, good-natured, always ready to think the best of others. They lack prickly egotism of Elizabeth and Darcy. Jane's gentle spirit serves as a foil for her sister's fiery, contentious nature, while Bingley's eager friendliness contrasts with Darcy's stiff pride. Their principal characteristics are goodwill and compatibility and the contrast of their romance with that of Darcy and Elizabeth is remarkable. Jane and Bingley exhibit to the reader true love unhampered by either pride or prejudice, though in their simple goodness, they also demonstrate that such a love is mildly dull.
Darcy and Elizabeth fire on all cylinders and this makes their romance bewitching.Mr. BennetMr. Bennet is the patriarch of the Bennet household—the husband of Mrs. Bennet and the father of Jane, Elizabeth, Lydia, Kitty, and Mary. He has retired to his library and has assumed a detached attitude punctuated by bursts of sarcastic dry English humor. This is because he is unable to cope up with his wife's antics and Lydia and Kitty's shameless behavior He is closest to Elizabeth because of her intelligence. He is likeable then hysterical Mrs.Bennet but is a weak father and fails his family when Lydia elopes with Wickham. Then it is left to Mr.Gardiner , Mrs. Bennet's brother and Darcy to track Lydia down and rectify the situation. Mr. Bennet prefers to withdraw from the world than cope with it.Mrs. BennetMrs. Bennet is a tiresome character with a single minder pursuit of marrying her daughters. Ironically, her single-minded pursuit of this goal tends to backfire as her lack of social graces alienates the Darcy and Bingley whom she tries desperately to attract. She is too noisy and quite foolish in nature.Some readers may feel that due to Mr. Bennet's self-enforcement detachment from the family has forced her to become so outspoken. Infact ,She is both the cause and result of Mr.Bennet's aloofness from his family matters. She is shown as a tiresome womabreeding is the reason given for it. Austen uses her continually to highlight the necessity of marriage for young women and also underline the importance of education in making a charming personality. She is middle class counterpoint to Lady Bourgh and Caroline Bingley.Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Caroline Bingley They both are quisessential old money, upper class, superficial snobs who love poking fun at those whom they consider financial inferior to themselves. In their single-minded pursuit to humiliate others and maintain their social superiority, they end up losing respect among fellow beings. Through them Austen demonstrates foolishness can be found at every level of society.
Published: December 10, 2005   
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