• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Jane Austen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Jane Austen essays

  1. Jane Austen's presentation of Emma as an unlikeable heroine

    a quite a few times in the book form the incorrect actions she makes. Most of these cases included her friends or family. Emma's heart is always hurt when she hurts someone else.

  2. A Comparison of the Prejudice which the Heroines Suffer in Rebecca and Pride and ...

    servant- the second Mrs de Winter 'trails in the wake' of her. Mrs Van Hopper ridicules the second Mrs de Winter as soon as she learns of her engagement to Maxim, commenting that she cannot see the second Mrs de Winter being successful as the mistress of Manderley.

  1. Independant Essay - Emma

    Highbury is a very excellent example of how your wealth and status matter in life - and we can see this especially during the Harriet/Robert Martin dispute. Status is linked directly to marriage, which was also one of the most important (and complicated)

  2. How does Jane Austen show Elizabeth to be a woman of independent mind?

    Elizabeth is also keen about nature, using her perceptive eye to marvel at its beauty. Her fondness for reading is great, and she is always able to "amuse herself...with a book". Her ability to sing and play the piano is most "pleasing", as the "entreaties" of "several" would suggest.

  1. In what ways and to what ends does the romance genre draw on the ...

    The perfect characters in fairy tales like the noble and handsome Prince Charming in 'Cinderella', or the wicked witch in 'The Wizard of Oz' are stock characters, they are not portrayed as realistic people; they represent certain abstract forces such as good or evil.

  2. "Examine the decisions, about their futures, made by the women characters in "Pride and ...

    Bennet does not behave properly toward his wife. As a young woman she had all the charms of 'youth and beauty' to attract him. In time, however, her shallowness and ignorance 'had very early in their marriage put an end to all affection for her.

  1. Examine the different marriage relationships and attitudes towards marriage presented in 'Pride and Prejudice'. ...

    This theory is also backed up by Mr Darcy at first, as he feels that Jane does not show much interest in Bingley as a person; however he does not know her temperament as Charlotte Lucas clearly points out to Elizabeth "Remember Eliza, that he does not know her disposition as you do".

  2. ‘In what ways is “Pride and Prejudice” a Cinderella story?’

    would never exert himself to restrain the wild giddiness of his youngest daughters." (Chapter 37.) This trait in her father's disposition allows Lydia to elope with Mr Wickham from Brighton. Elizabeth's mother and sisters also inhibit her, not by being malicious or unkind, as with Cinderella, but by their rudeness

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work