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Pride and prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen that was originally published in 1813. Being one of the most early works by the author, the story follows the life of the main character Elizabeth Bennet in her attempt to deal with life changing issues such as manners, upbringing, morality, education and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of early 19th-century England. In the story, Elizabeth is the fifth born daughter of a country man that lives near the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, near London. Despite the fact that literature has changed a lot particularly in the 19th century, this story continues to retain its fascination for modern readers. The book has continuously topped the list of the most favorite book while at the same time becoming one of the most popular English literature novels. Due to its adoption in the modern society, a number of dramatic adaptations have been written as well as novel and stories seen to depict the idea of Austen's memorable characters or themes.
One of the characters in the story is Elizabeth Bennet. Elizabeth appears to be the most intelligent and quick witted member of the Bennet family. Elizabeth is the protagonist of Pride and Prejudice and one of the most well-known female characters in English literature. In the story, Elizabeth has various admirable qualities including being portrayed as cleaver, lovely, and a character who converses in a brilliant manner. She is also famed for her honesty virtue and her ability to rise above the social evils and moral situation in the society that she is living in. Nevertheless, Elizabeth has another side to her personality one which she is sharp tongued and has the tendency to make irrational and hasty decisions with regards to the situations that affect her life and that of her loved ones. Pride and Prejudice is therefore written on the basis of Elizabeth Bennet and the love of her life Darcy and how the two beat all odds to achieve romantic happiness. For Elizabeth, she does not only have to cope with a distant father but she has also to put up with a hopeless mother and siblings who are portrayed as badly behaved. As if this is not enough, Elizabeth has to also put up with a few snobbish antagonizing females and her own mistaken impressions. In relation to her role in the story, Elizabeth rejects Darcy’s proposal for marriage as a result of her mistaken impression of Darcy. However, her relentless charms succeed in keeping Darcy interested longer than expected. With time, she is able to recognize Darcy’s noble character which leads her to realize her earlier misconception of Darcy’s personality hence her previous prejudice against him.
Mrs. Bennet on the other hand is portrayed by the author as a miraculously tiresome character. This is going by the underlying factors that depict her personality as being noisy, foolish and overly consumed by the desire to see her daughters get married. She strikes out as a woman who is not concerned about the welfare of the people that matter to her the most but rather, she only seems to concentrate on the things that directly affect her. This is one of the main reasons why she would go to any level just to make her wishes come true for example that of seeing her daughters get married. However, her single-minded pursuits seem to always back fire a situation brought about by the fact that her lack of social graces alienates the very people (Darcy and Bingley) whom she tries desperately to attract. The author uses Mrs. Bennett try and show the necessity of marriage in young women.
Another role that is played by Mrs. Bennet in the play is that she serves as a middle class a middle-class counterpoint to such upper-class snobs as Lady Catherine and Miss Bingley. This is seen as indirectly implying that foolishness can exist at almost every level of the society. In a general context, Mrs. Bennet comes out as a very unattractive character who is more concerned about her general welfare as compared to the wellbeing of those that surround her. She is seen to lack in any redeeming characteristics a situation that has led many literary critics accuse Austen of unfairness in portraying Mrs. Bennet. Critics argue that the author may have actually been taking perverse pleasure in poking fun at a woman already scorned and shunned by the society around her as a result of her unattractive qualities and selfish characteristics.
Mrs. Bennet is a direct contrast of Elizabeth. She seems to contain all the negative qualities while on the other hand; Elizabeth is the admirable character who has the aura of goodness and compassion to every person that she comes across. Mrs. Benet as portrayed by the author in the story is frivolous, excitable, and narrow-minded, and is imagines herself susceptible to attacks of tremors and palpitations Her selfish motives come out in the part where she tries to influence Lizzie’s decision regarding marriage “From this day, you must be a stranger to one of your parent, your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do” (pp.119). This is going by the fact that her main ambition in life is to marry off her daughters well. Elizabeth Bennet on the other hand despite having the tendency of judging on first impression is intelligent, lively, attractive, and witty.