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

Pride and Prejudice

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Elizabeth seems to represent something of a departure form the conventional image of women of her time By Comparing Jane Austen's characterisation of Elizabeth with that of the other female characters in the novel, and by examining it's social context, discuss this verdict in the heroine of Pride and Prejudice. The novel "Pride and Prejudice" is about a fascinating love between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy who have to overcome a lot of difficulties and social prejudices to be together. Some readers may be amazed by the way Jane Austen builds her female characters, especially the main heroine Elizabeth Bennet who is an energetic, quick-witted, sharp- tongued, bold and intelligent girl. Everyone soon realizes that she is the most distinguished and unique character in the novel because of her strong-willed and eager mind. Jane Austen lived in a historical time of social and political changes all over the world but she focused on the middle-class, narrow-minded life in England in which women's social status was established by marrying a prosperous man who would be able to provide them and their family with good security for life, very similar to Mrs. Bennet's desires. However a majority of central female characters in Austen's works are strong-natured and they promote women's freedom on marriage. Elizabeth is a highly unconventional woman of her time. Her mannerisms and thoughts seem to be different to other characters in the novel. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters in the Bennet family. However, unlike her mother and her siblings whose childishness and narrow-mindedness always showed themselves poorly in public, Elizabeth is quite smart and has a fast tongue. This is the reason for her being the most favourite daughter of her father and the least one of her mother. ...read more.

Middle

Unlike most of the other characters in the novel and the conventional women of her time, Elizabeth is a strong woman who is capable of harmoniously balancing reason and emotion in dealing with every incident. She does and says whatever she believes to be right without paying attention to the external forces. The determination in her character really makes her become the most admired and praiseworthy woman. For example when Jane becomes ill, Elizabeth is determined to go meet her. She is also stubborn about walking there rather than taking horse and carriage. Mrs. Bennet is afraid that Elizabeth's visiting to Netherfield would make Jane recover from illness quickly and she would not stay there as long as her mother wants. Moreover, the appearance of a girl as the result of walking three miles through the mud is surely not expected to see and the girl's social image may be affected. Nevertheless, Elizabeth pays attention to nothing of it. Her only concern is Jane and her health so she does not have intention of changing her initial decision. Her answers to her parents are full of willpower and resolution. Her look "with weary ankles, dirty stockings, and a face glowing with the warmth of exercise" when arriving at Netherfield is a great surprise to the people here but she appears unworried about their comments and views on her. Nothing can make her flinch from difficulties. In a society like Elizabeth's appearance is everything and by arriving to Netherfield as she did would ruin her family's social image. However Elizabeth paid no attention to this and this shows that she is an unconventional woman of her time. She was more concerned for her sister Jane than her family's reputation. ...read more.

Conclusion

In "Pride and Prejudice", Jane Austen uses Elizabeth Bennet as a literary device to represent her values and attitudes on the importance of marrying for love. The heroine dares to go against the social conventions that women should marry for their economic benefits. She only weds the man she really loves and respects. This makes the young free-spirited woman differ substantially from the other female characters of the novel. Although the novel was written a vast amount of time ago and Jane Austen is no longer with us, the distance of time could not fade away the image of Elizabeth as a complex young woman with sparkling intelligence and a strong personality. Although Elizabeth makes some mistakes, for example she has been driven by her pride and prejudice for a long time leading to the misjudgements between Wickham and Mr. Mr. Darcy, the striking features she possesses still overweigh these weaknesses. She is not perfect but is an idealized woman. That is possibly the message Jane Austen was trying to get across, that there is no perfect woman, but then who is. In modern times, Elizabeth would be the opposite of unconventional. Now women are free to express their opinions and are encourage speaking their minds. In this way I think Jane Austen has predicted the future of women through Elizabeth. I believe Jane Austen has been accurate in her prediction and she has succeeded in producing more Elizabeth's' throughout the world. I admire Elizabeth Bennet and I believe that she is an ideal women. Particularly when it comes to her strength of mind and her courage. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sophie Kiani 11C English Coursework Pride And Prejudice Final Draft? ...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. How does Jane Austen reflect the social and historical context of her time in ...

    It was expected that women of a lower class must accept the ideas of the upper class women and respect them. Austen uses Elizabeth to refute this idea and often allows Elizabeth to speak her mind rather as opposed to bottling up her feelings, as she admits herself, "I always speak what I think."

  2. Compare and contrast 'The Chrysanthemums' and 'The Odour of Chrysanthemums', paying close attention to ...

    This reflects their lack of freedom. The time-span of both stores is the same. The events take place over one day and as a conclusion, both stories have a final resolution at the end of the day.

  1. Despite their being total opposites, Abigail and Elizabeth are Clearly Products of a Puritan ...

    Although she does express her true feelings about John at the end of the play as she says: 'Suspicion kissed you when I did; I never knew how I should say my love.' She is a very cold woman on the outside but is quite passionate on the inside as

  2. To What Extent does Austen Present Elizabeth Bennet as a Conventional Romantic Heroine?

    Darcy tells Elizabeth 'I knew enough of your disposition to be certain, that had you been ... decided against me, you would have acknowledged it to Lady Catherine, frankly and openly.' It is evident that Elizabeth is clever, alert, and observant.

  1. In Pride and Prejudice, what views does Jane Austen convey to us regarding Pride, ...

    This proves that he does not love her for his physical desires towards her but instead, he loves her for her personality. The relationship between the two characters reveals Austen�s values on love not being centered around beauty or immediate attraction but rather, knowing the personality of your partner before you devote your life to them.

  2. Discuss Jane Austen's treatment of the theme of marriage in Pride and Prejudice.

    I think Austen does this to show the progression of the characters. Throughout the letter, he chooses not to mention his proclamation of love for her on the previous night. He ends the letter "I will only add, God bless you, Fitzwilliam Darcy" this is very formal yet it also

  1. Examine the way in which both Austen and Shakespeare present a spirited female lead.

    somebody so below him in status should have the self-confessed "impertinence" to say such a thing. In Darcy, we see somebody who can keep up with Elizabeth's spirited arguments for the first time. Again, as in "Much Ado", we see a more spirited character in Elizabeth because the creation of Darcy allows her to be more out-spoken and audacious.

  2. An analytical commentary on Pride and Prejudice (emphasis: Chapter VI, pp. 21-23)

    An interesting point raised in this paragraph is the notion of 'fixing' a man; Charlotte speaks of becoming 'secure of him' and avoiding the loss of the 'opportunity of fixing him'. Austen both literally8 and figuratively9 speaks of men with such degrading condescension as to demean them to the potency of a castrated dog.

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