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"I must confess that I think her as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print" - Jane Austen on Elizabeth. To what extent do you believe Elizabeth Bennet to be "delightful"? You should consider her words and actions throughout the novel.

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P&P Coursework 9th December 2004 "I must confess that I think her as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print" - Jane Austen on Elizabeth. To what extent do you believe Elizabeth Bennet to be "delightful"? You should consider her words and actions throughout the novel. Jane Austen mentions in a letter that Elizabeth Bennet is "as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print." This quotation shows that Jane Austen clearly likes the character of Elizabeth and she thinks that Elizabeth is better than any heroine in a work of literature. The definition of delightful is "greatly pleasing or entertaining". Therefore Jane Austen creates delight in her readers of "Pride and Prejudice". Elizabeth Bennet could be considered delightful for many reasons. She is funny, clever, and witty so she brings delight to the reader of the novel. Elizabeth delights in anything ridiculous which also makes her a delightful character. "She had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous." (Vol. 1, chapter 3, p. 8.6) She also enjoys teasing Mr Darcy and Mr Collins. Elizabeth's playful character can be seen when Elizabeth delights in mocking Mr Collins about the ball. Elizabeth's spirits were so high on the occasion, that though she did not often speak unnecessarily to Mr Collins, she could not help asking him whether he intended to accept Mr Bingley's invitation, and if he did, whether he would think it proper to join in the evening's amusements. ...read more.


Elizabeth moderates her prejudice when Mr Darcy welcomes nicely her at Pemberley when she visits with her Aunt and Uncle. At this point in the novel, Jane Austen uses dramatic irony where the readers know more than the characters - Elizabeth does not realise Mr Darcy has changed his manners for her alone. "Why is he so altered? From what can it proceed? It cannot be for me, it cannot be for my sake that his manners are thus softened." (Vo.3, chapter 1, p. 209.7) Another part of Elizabeth that is delightful is the fact that she can judge character well. She can see what the Bingley sisters are really like unlike her sister Jane who sees the best in everyone. Elizabeth listened in silence, but was not convinced; their behaviour at the assembly had not been calculated to please in general; and with more quickness of observation and less pliancy of temper than her sister, and with a judgement too unassailed by any attention to herself, she was very little disposed to approve them. (Vol. 1, chapter 4, p. 11.3) There are also many non-delightful qualities that Elizabeth possesses. Elizabeth enjoys disliking the Bingley Sisters. She should not enjoy disliking people - it is not a delightful quality. It goes against the fact that "Pride and Prejudice" is a Christian novel so you should like your enemies and forgive them and also be good to them even if you do not like them. ...read more.


(Vol. 1, chapter 6, p. 16.4) Only do the other members of the Bennet family realise what Wickham is really like after Lydia's elopement with him. A big theme of the novel "Pride and Prejudice" is misinterpretation. Elizabeth makes the mistake of mistaking Mr Darcy's shyness when she teases him about dancing for pride. Mr Darcy also misinterprets Elizabeth thinking that she is flirting with him when she in fact is making fun of him on various occasions. Taking all the evidence into account about the character of Elizabeth Bennet, despite her having flaws, she is still a delightful character. The reader of the novel can relate to her character because she has flaws and of course no one is perfect. Elizabeth is delightful because she can acknowledge her flaws and she is also willing to change. These are both attractive qualities. Throughout the whole novel, we can see that Elizabeth is real and ordinary. She is not blindingly beautiful and she is not extremely intelligent. This makes us relate to her even more. Heroines which are too good to be true come across in some novels as dull because they should not be perfect. Elizabeth however is a flawed heroine just like ordinary people. One could argue that she is not delightful because of her prejudice to Mr Darcy which was wrong, but at least she realised her mistake and was willing to change her attitude towards him. Elizabeth creates delight in the readers of "Pride and Prejudice" and so therefore she is a delightful character. Neha Amlani L5 Alpha ...read more.

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