Relationship Elizabeth And Darcy In Pride And Prejudice is central relation. Shakespearean heroines – such as Ophillia, Cordillia; Emillia, Cleopetra, etc. have their own popularity and place in the hearts of the readers of English literature. Jane Austen‘s Elizabeth in pride and prejudice is not less than this level of popularity and likeness. Elizabeth Bennet is the most impressive.character in the novel because all the major and minor characters are directly or indirectly linked with her. Of all the heroines, Jane Austen liked her most. Her character proves to be central in the whole action of the novel because it seems that the whole story has been written from Elizabeth’s viewpoint.
Elizabeth Bennet has extraordinary qualities in her personality. She seems to be very gay and charming in her first glimpse. She seems to be uncommonly intelligent by her face and dark eyes. There is certainly something so elusive and extraordinary in her charms which is difficult to describe in the words. Apart from these physical beauties, her real charms lie in her mental beauty. This is the very reason that she becomes more center of attraction on familiarity. In the first meeting with Darcy, we see that she does not impress him and according to him
“She is tolerable but not so handsome enough to tempt him.”
But after the chance meetings and an incidental meetings which both Darcy and Elizabeth experienced, make Darcy say in another chapter
“it is many months that I have considered her as one of the handsomest ‘women in my acquaintance”
Now the question arises how this change started when Darcy had a chance to observe and judge her closely and discovered that she was unlike all the other women whom he had met or observed in his life so far. Most of these have been shallow, insensible and selfish as Miss Bingley is. It is the quality of Elizabeth’s intellect and her independent spirit which impresses him as well as the readers too.
These are such qualities which are beautifully and masterly exposed by her ability to understand most of the characters. She is very different from her mother and sisters, Lydia, Kitty and Marry in their manners and ways of living. That’s why, she very clearly understands their foolish and vulgar manners and behaviours.
Elizabeth has an extraordinary god gifted ability of judging and understating one’s intentions at the very first glimpse and meeting. She can see from the letter of Mr. Collins that he is a mixture of meanness and self-importance; and he proves to be so at his arrival. Another beautiful and splendid glimpse of her judging ability is observed when she reveals her power of perception of seeing through Miss Bingley’s hypocrisy. It is an intellectual sharpness of her ability which enables her to understand or get the essence of an argument immediately,
Apart from these splendid and unique abilities of right judgement, she has a minor flaw in her personality that her intelligence fails to understand the intricate characters such as Charlotte, Darcy and Wickham.
It really strikes her heart to know that Charlotte was capable of sacrificing every delicate sentiment for the sake of worldly comforts and advantages. It is her inability when she fails to understand or judge from Mr. Darcy’s initial remarks about her and remains prejudiced against him till half of the novel. At the very initial stages, she cannot discover the newly growing interest of Mr. Darcy to her. She becomes so prejudiced against Darcy that she even does not notice Wickham’s account of Mr. Darcy and is misled by his good manners and flattery.
In spite of these inabilities and minor flaws, what is an other thing or quality which makes her lovable is that she is always ready to learn and has the capacity to improve Darcy’s letter explaining the accusation against him proved to be a turning point for her. As Darcy’s letter serves as the turning point in her life and now she is not only able to revalue the characters of Darcy and Wickham but is also ready to realize that she had been “blinded partial, prejudiced and absurd.”
It is by the virtue of her this honesty that Elizabeth makes her capable of self-knowledge, and of changing and growing. This is another alarming quality that she does not lose our sympathy even where she errs.
Elizabeth is a girl of her own principles and rules and she has great moral courage in herself which makes her resist social temptation as well as social pressure. By doing so she becomes an admirable character for us. She rejects the marriage proposals from Mr. Collins as well as Darcy. Though the proposal of Mr. Collins was very much attractive and beneficial for her in many ways yet she was not allured by it. At least Mr. Collins’ proposal could give her financial and economical security and could also save her family estate from others. Elizabeth is a young girl without any profession and connections. It is not certain that she will have another proposal of marriage. In such circumstances, there is a need for great moral and spiritual courage to reject these kinds of proposals.
So, her rejection is actually an act of courage and honesty. Mr. Darcy’s proposal is still more attractive for her: to be the mistress of Pemberley means something. In spite of all these social and economical temptations, she rejects all of these economical considerations and even she does not approve of the marriage of Wickham and Lydia which is absolutely based on physical and social considerations. Such kind of qualities of high moral courage and an honest nature are very less found even in the Shakespearean heroines but Elizabeth becomes admirable from most of the highly famed heroines of English literature.
Her views of a happy and successful marriage are really very apt and genuine which are based on love and understanding and are key factors to lead a successful happy married life. Now we come to the conclusion by saying that Elizabeth Bennet is a very sensible heroine of having abilities of extraordinary genius and character. She is an embodiment of love, faithfulness, sincerity, sensibility etc. There is no further need to praise her heroic qualities in an exaggeration. I think only Jane Austen‘s own words are enough to speak for all the qualities. Jane Austen herself loved her and said
“how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her.”
She was the ideal of Mr. Bradley for marriage. And finally what Shakespeare said of Cleopatra might safely be applied to her.
“Time cannot wither her nor custom stale her charm”.
These are such great words of praise which make or keep an in alive creature an alive one forever. So, in short, Elizabeth Bennet has her own unique place in English Literature which no other one has such as.