Elizabeth Bennet Essay

730 Words3 Pages
Elizabeth Bennet, though witty and intelligent, would have probably been viewed as an exceptional woman in her time, yet she still conformed to society's expectations of women. How is Elizabeth different from her sister, Lydia, and her mother? Explain. Elizabeth Bennet is a free-spirited character who differs substantially from the other women in the story. Elizabeth believed that marriage should not be based on superficial feelings, wealth, or social status. The first sentence of the novel “It is universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a good wife” (Austen). This sentence suggests that the solitary purpose for marriage was to increase the characters social and financial ranking. Elizabeth refuses to wed for any reason other than love. Elizabeth’s rejection of Mr. Collins (Austen) marriage proposal was quite unorthodox. Mr. Collins proposal was socially acceptable; he would provide Elizabeth with a home, security, and financial stability. However, she expresses in a letter of “My dear Jane, Mr. Collins is a conceited, pompous, narrow-minded, silly man” (Austen). Mr. Collins was less than desirable, self centered, close-minded and Elizabeth knew that she couldn’t love such a man. Rejecting a man whom a woman did not love was rebellious and unheard of during this time. Elizabeth Bennet did not fit the generalization of the women living in a patriarchal society whose sole purpose in life was finding a suitable candidate for marriage. Elizabeth Bennet is her father’s favorite child. When Elizabeth is departing for Kent her father entreats “Until you or your sister Jane returns…” Mr. Bennet has a high regard for his daughter’s intelligence and wit. In sharp contrast Mrs. Bennet has little value for these qualities “Elizabeth was the least dear to her of all her children” (Austen). Elizabeth exhibits
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