Pride and Prejudice - Essay 4

Pride and Prejudice - Essay 4

  • Submitted By: Skrablova
  • Date Submitted: 09/24/2011 1:26 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 864
  • Page: 4
  • Views: 361

When you grow up in a household full of women – independent, strong willed, educated women – it is easy to forget that this is not necessarily the norm, even by today’s standards. In turn of the century England, it was certainly the exception, and as exceptions go, Elizabeth Bennet was fairly remarkable for her time.

Elizabeth is the most logical, thoughtful, and practical of the Bennet sisters, a fact that makes her the favored daughter of her father, but the least favored by her mother. Throughout the novel she is described as witty, intelligent, and lively “with a playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous.” She is not afraid to speak her mind, even in the company of her social superiors. While dining with Lady Catherine, Elizabeth is asked about all of her sisters being out in society at the same time. Elizabeth answers in a very matter of fact tone, and catches Lady Catherine off guard. “Upon my word, said her ladyship, you give your opinion very decidedly for so young a person.” Elizabeth is unperturbed by the exchange and “suspected herself to be the first creature who had ever trifled with so much dignified impertinence.” As a young woman possessing intelligence, confidence, and a sense of independence, such exchanges were not uncommon for Elizabeth.

By comparison, Elizabeth’s youngest sister is on a very single minded mission to relinquish anything resembling independence as soon as possible. Her main activity in life is socializing and flirting with the military officers stationed in the nearby town, and she has little vision of life outside of marriage. When her sisters return from visiting their aunt, Lydia prattles on incessantly about her sisters’ potential engagements. “Have you had any flirting? I was in great hopes that one of you would have got a husband before you got back. Jane will be quite an old maid soon, I declare. She is almost three and twenty! Lord, how ashamed I should be of not being married before...

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