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In what ways does Elizabeth show an independent mind? - Pride and prejudice.

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Introduction

In what ways does Elizabeth show an independent mind? Margaux Figgins 13A In Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth as a main character, is indeed controversial and possesses an independent spirit and mind. The novel, set in the Gregorian period, illustrates the social boundaries and the expectations of women at the time; both of which Elizabeth defies, albeit not always intentionally. She is a rational, freethinking woman with a "lively, playful disposition." To understand the character of Elizabeth better, we must too acknowledge the author as somewhat controversial for her time, writing satirical novels about society and marriage in general; themes which come across in all her novels. Just as Mr. Knightley in 'Emma,' is the mouthpiece, so is Elizabeth, to an extent, in Pirde and Prejudice. Jane Austen's heroines, such as Emma and Elizabeth, both display the same traits, i.e. indifference to marrying for money. Indeed, Elizabeth understands the irony of her society, which judges people firstly, and perhaps solely, on their financial status. "...Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England; that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place..."-Mrs Bennet. ...read more.

Middle

She refuses Mr. Collins, a marriage that would have secured the financial security of the Bennets, and the Longbourn estate. Mr. Collins is sure that he would not be refused, stating how beneficial it would be to both, but we see not only is Elizabeth unperturbed by such logic, but is also quite amused and slightly appalled that he would insinuate she would marry for such reasons. "I am very sensible of the honour of your proposals, but it is impossible for me to do otherwise than decline them... You could not make me happy, and I am convinced that I am the last woman in the world who would make you so-Nay, were your friend Lady Catherine to know me, I am persuaded she would find me in every respect ill qualified for the situation."-Elizabeth It is safe to say that Elizabeth is intelligent enough to be aware of her own independent nature, and would not suffer either party the results of such a union. Elizabeth is indeed shocked at Charlotte Lucas, her intimate friend's acceptance of Mr. ...read more.

Conclusion

Darcy's dislikes dancing in general, it would have been seen as a great honour. However, the ultimate show of independence is when Elizabeth refuses Mr. Darcy's proposal of marriage. She is shocked at the spontaneity of his proposal. His proposal, however, is not helped by the bluntness, and almost rudeness of it, and the lack of romance. Elizabeth, who is adamant on marrying for love, would never accept such a proposal, even if she were on good terms with Mr. Darcy. "Why with so evident a design of offending and insulting me, you chose to tell me that you liked me against your will, against your reason, and even against your character?" -Elizabeth. Elizabeth thus, shows an independent mind, in different ways, such as in her firm ideals on marriage and love, and her actions, such as the refusal of Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy. She is the mouthpiece for Jane Austen's witty and satirical views on society, and, though she eventually relents and marries Mr. Darcy, though for love, it is certain that she will remain and independent wife. ...read more.

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