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Pride and Prejudice - 'Sparkling Elizabeth is set against a backdrop of very unpleasant human beings indeed.' Discuss

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Introduction

Pride and Prejudice Essay 'Sparkling Elizabeth is set against a backdrop of very unpleasant human beings indeed.' The first impressions we get of Elizabeth are given to us by her father. We become aware of the fact that Lizzy is her father's favourite and that he feels she is somewhat superior to her sisters. Mr. Bennet: '...though I must throw in a good word for my little Lizzy.' We can see from this that Elizabeth and her father have a special relationship as he calls her "my little Lizzy" and it also sounds as though he cares for her a lot as even though she is quite grown up she is still his 'little' girl. Mr.Bennet: '... they are all silly and ignorant like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters.' We can see from this that Mr.Bennet feels that Lizzy is much more sensible and aware than her sisters. He sees Lizzy as being different from her sisters and other girls. We also know that Elizabeth is very close with her elder sister Jane. When Jane was sick, Elizabeth was determined to visit her and she even walked there as she could not take the carriage. ...read more.

Middle

Elizabeth's first impressions of Mr.Wickham: '... but Mr. Wickham was as far beyond them all in person, countenance, air, and walk...' Elizabeth's reaction to what Wickham says about Darcy: 'I had supposed him to be despising his fellow -creatures in general, but did not suspect him of descending to such malicious revenge, such injustice, such inhumanity as this!' Although Elizabeth says that she didn't think Darcy was quite as bad as this, she doesn't mention any reason of why it could be untrue. She immediately presumes that this is what Darcy did and he becomes even more unappealing to her. When they hear the news of Bingley leaving, Elizabeth immediately thinks that it is Caroline's doings and that it is nothing to do with Mr.Bingley. This could just be to comfort her sister, but Elizabeth says that this is her opinion and goes on to insult Caroline Bingley, saying that she is 'such a simpleton'. The book contains many 'unpleasant' characters but in ways they are very true to life. It is perhaps possible that Jane Austen based them on people she knew! Mr.Collins is insensitive and foolish and he is the object of great satire in the novel. ...read more.

Conclusion

I was in great hopes that one of you would have got a husband before you came back. Jane will be quite an old maid soon, I declare....' This is quite a rude comment about her sister but we seem to mock Lydia because she doesn't realise how shallow she is. But the book is not made up entirely of unpleasant characters. Jane is in no way an 'unpleasant human being'. She thinks well of everyone and doesn't ever wish to criticize. But this can also make Jane quite a weak character. Elizabeth: 'My dear Jane! You are too good. Your sweetness and disinterestedness are really angelic; ...' Charlotte Lucas is realistic. She is sensible in accepting Mr.Collins' proposal. She sees that by marrying him it will help her economically. Mr.Bennet is very sweet to Elizabeth and when she returns from Hunsford he is very glad to have her back. Mr.Bennet: 'I am glad you are come back, Lizzy.' Mr.Bennet also seems to manage to cope with his wife, finding a comical side to her and mocking most of what she says. I do not entirely agree that Elizabeth is all 'sparkling' nor that all the characters are 'unpleasant' but the contrast of the different characters makes the story more convincing. The 'unpleasantness' of the other characters brings out Elizabeth's great nature and this is how she appears to 'sparkle' throughout the novel. ...read more.

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