Elizabeth Bennet (also referred to as Lizzy or Eliza) is the main female protagonist of Jane Austen's 2nd novel Pride & Prejudice. Elizabeth is the second eldest of the five Bennet sisters, and is the most well educated. In the novel the main plot is centered on Elizabeth's attempts to find love and happiness within the constraints and proprieties of English society at the time. She has a complicated and romantic relationship with her initial enemy but eventual husband, Mr. Darcy. She is generally considered 1 of Austen's most popular and enduring heroines, and one of the most popular characters in all of British literature.Elizabeth is the age of 20 at the beginning of the novel.
Personal Life and character
Elizabeth was born to parents Mr. and Mrs. Bennet (formerly Ms. Gardiner) (no 1st names given) Probably at some time within the late 1700's according to the date the the novel was originally published.Originally in the novel Elizabeth is described and portrayed as having an "Lively and playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous". She often presents a playful good natured impertinence that does not offend. Early in the novel Elizabeth is depicted as being personally proud of her mental quickness and her acuity in judging the social behavior and intentions of others, however in nearly all of the film adaptations of the story Elizabeth is portrayed as a more serious young woman whom appears to feel both bored and trapped by the trappings of middle class British society and seems to dream for something more. Elizabeth's best friend is Charlotte Lucas but later in the story she relies on her older sister Jane. Jane Bennet (later Bingley) is the oldest and prettiest of the 5 sisters, and has patientce that Elizabeth marvels at. Elizabeth is her fathers favorite and is described by him as having "something more of quickness than her sisters", though she is often distressed and embarassed by the behavior of her mother and younger sisters. Elizabeth is described as the child her mother is "Least fond of" after refusing Mr. Collins proposal of marriage. Elizabeth is considered to be a local beauty and quite charming, with "Fine eyes" which are the 1st feature that Fitzwilliam Darcy is drawn to. He is later drawn more particulary to both her mind and personality, and later eventually considers Elizabeth to be "one of handsomest women in his acquaintance".
Relationship with Mr. Darcy
The central plot of the novel centers around Elizabeth and her relationship with Mr. Darcy, a wealthy, proud man who snubs her at a public dance in her home village. Elizabeth's 1st impression then is to distain Mr. Darcy, Whereas her 1st impression of George Wickham is that he is charming and personable and there is a mutual attraction between them. Wickham them leads Elizabeth and the rest of the neighborhood to believe that he has been unfairly treated by Darcy, claiming that Darcy denied him a living as a clergyman as he believed that he was due. Elizabeth's severe dislike of Darcy is further fueled by his disrupting the courtship of her beloved sister Jane and Mr. Bingley, who is Darcy's friend. Elizabeth is pursuaded that her prejudice against Darcy is well founded, both based on available evidence and upon her superior judgement of human character. Meanwhile, Elizabeth's sister Jane is suffering because Mr. Bingley, the man whom she thought had loved her, has gone away to London. Jane was peusuaded that the cause of this was Caroline Bingley his sister had thought that a attachment between her brother and Jane would not be proper due to the disparity in both wealth and social position. Later Elizabeth is informed that it was Mr. Darcy who seperated them, which makes her dislike Darcy even more. As a result when Darcy (who has fallen in love with her) attempts to propose marriage while at the same time reminding her of their gap in social status, she vehemently deinies him. When he asks why, she sharply details all of her reasons for not liking him, and relates that the arrogant way he proposed to her prevented her from feeling the concern she would have felt had he would have behaved "in a more gentlemanlike manner", as well as the account of him recived from Mr. Wickham and the truth of his seperating Jane and Mr. Bingley injuring them both.