Character Analysis of Elizabeth Bennet | Pride and Prejudice

Elizabeth Bennet sometimes Lizzie, sometimes Eliza, is one of the six Bennet sisters and she is the heroine of Pride and Prejudice. She is one of the most distinguished feminine characters in English fiction. She is the second daughter in the Bennet family and a central character in Pride and Prejudice. She is main focus of the readers from very beginning of the novel till ending. She is the main character in the novel; through her all the characters are knitted with one another by some relations in the story.

Elizabeth Bennet: Physical Appearance

Elizabeth Bennet is an attractive young girl in her twenties with full of blossom and charm on her face. Her eyes are captivating and she holds an exceptional personality. Her expressive eyes make Mr. Darcy spellbound and cause to break his crux of pride. Both of the elder sisters are described beautiful, tall and handsome. Her actions and smiles on her face make her so attractive. Most of the time she talks in a smiling face and also passes smile frequently on others comments. Her comments are mostly ironic that cause to make her smile.

Good Traits of Elizabeth Bennet

Her admirable traits are several—she is lovely, intelligent, clever, confident, and decisive. She is also embodiment of honesty, virtue, and lively wit. Here are some salient traits of Lizzy.

Good Sense: Elizabeth Bennet is not only a beautiful and an attractive but she also possesses spirited wit and good sense. She is most intelligent and quick-witted character in the novel. Because of her good sense, she is most favorite daughter of her father Mr. Bennet. Her wit is evident in her conversations made to tyrant characters like Lady Catherine. Her good sense, her spirited wit, her intelligent remarks, and her philosophy on traditional norms adhered to females reveals a true picture of Jane Austin in Pride and Prejudice.

Confidence: Lizzy is full of confidence of in all her conversations. She is not from elite class like Mr. Darcy or Lady Catherine but when she talks to them, she never underestimates herself. She never supposed herself a member of middle class society and her opinions and remarks do not have value. But her confidence and good sense makes her opinions considerable for rich class like Darcy’s family. On the other hand, her confidence in her judgments leads her to prejudice. 

“My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me.” (Elizabeth Bennet)

Conversational Skills: Conversational skills of Elizabeth Bennet are remarkable. Her conversations carry deep meaning and she stand with what she says. She is fully capable for making decisive action as when once she denies to the proposal of Mr. Collins, she keep her decision until Collins marries Charlotte. She is well familiar with the talking manners and surprises Lady Catherine by her conversational skills. She makes rich opinions and replies so confidently. Her sentences are mostly ironic that carry deep and clear facts.

“One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty.” (Elizabeth Bennet)

Emotional Being: She is also an emotional character in the novel and feels great affection for her sisters particularly for her elder sister Jane and is also concerned for Lydia and Kitty.  She is very close to her father who also respects her opinions as in matter on Collins’ proposal. Her mother does not like her unlike her father because of rejecting Collins though she is often exasperated by her mother’s behavior.  Her relations with her friends are also very cool.

Weaknesses in Elizabeth Bennet’s Characters

Being an embodiment of many good traits, Elizabeth possesses some weaknesses in her characters. She is Judgmental, stubborn, outspoken, funny, impulsive, and vain. She is self-assured and assertive, but never rude or aggressive towards others.  Her main weakness lies in making quick judgments towards others.  She fails to judge Mr. Wickham and believes on her blindly. She also cannot judge Darcy’s change but Lydia tells her that Darcy paid for their wedding that startles her and forces her to think about change in Darcy.

“You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared me the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner.” (Elizabeth Bennet)

Elizabeth’s Prejudice

The title of the novel “Pride and Prejudice” depicts two traits that are found in two main characters of the novel: Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. The word pride is linked to Mr. Darcy and the word prejudice is linked to Elizabeth Bennet. Elizabeth is not a perfect character because of her fault of prejudice.

She is quick in judging herself and others, but often these judgments are merely based on appearance rather than hidden reality, normally based on her strong emotions rather than rational thought. 

The main targets for Elizabeth’s prejudice are Wickham and Darcy. At beginning she disliked Darcy for the harsh comments made by him to dance with her “she is handsome but not pretty enough to tempt me”. But later on Elizabeth was misguided by Wickham and she believed on him blindly and could not judge his hidden personality. When Darcy proposed her, she rejects him and admonishes him with language that no-one has ever used to him. She called him: “arrogance,” conceit,” “selfish disdain of the feelings of others.”

Afterwards, however, she delights in provoking Darcy, and when Wickham make her mad against Darcy by his fabricated stories to win her sympathies, she is more than ready to believe the accusations made about him.  At one moment, Elizabeth states firmly that she does not think Darcy capable of such inhumanity. From the start, she misjudged Wickham by his looks and charm but could not dive deep into his nature.  For the next twenty chapters, she takes Wickham’s side regardless of warnings from her elder sister Jane and others, all of whom, ironically, she considers to be prejudiced.

Elizabeth’s Marital Philosophy

Here is what Jane Austin wants to reveal through character of Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s views on love and marriage are not conventional.  Elizabeth Bennet dares to challenge the expected gender norms of 18th century England, mostly when compared with the other females in the novel. She expresses her opinions openly and without fear and has the ability to challenge the views of those of superior social standing.  She does not like those marriages based upon conventional norm and considering husband as a matter of social and economic survival only. Despite of forcing by her mother, she rejects two proposals holding good economic fortune. In doing so, Elizabeth rejects traditional norms where females are obliged to marry for financial opportunity.

She plainly rejected marriage on the basis of economic security and what she wants is happiness in marriage and it could only happen when someone marries for love not for other interests.

Throughout the whole novel, Elizabeth Bennet faced many challenges regarding female gender and social rank and she never give up but she stood with the reality. By Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Austen has created the first feminist in English literature.

Jane Austen uses Elizabeth to show us the mature, ideal marriage, and by contrasting through her eyes other, less worthy marriages, we ourselves learn what is best.  Elizabeth, at first, seems very clear about what she expects from a relationship.  As she tells Charlotte, she is not seeking a husband, let alone a rich one.  She despises courtship games, wants to know all about her partner, and when she hears of Charlotte’s engagement, her reaction is ‘impossible!’.  She slowly learns that her prejudice has led her astray.  Her visit to Hunsford shows her that such a marriage is not only possible but a fair compromise.  Darcy’s views, Pemberley, and the elopement show her too that financial and social considerations in marriage are important.  She needs to learn this before she can take a realistic view of marriage as a social union and become the responsible mistress of Pemberley. However, her view of marriage as an equal partnership is a very valid one and her refusal of Mr. Collins’s proposal is vindicated.  His marriage to Charlotte works because it is balanced, and all that remains now is for Elizabeth to meet her equal – quite literally she too must meet her match!  Elizabeth needs a real partner, like Darcy.

And now let’s settle something. Jane Austen has a reputation for writing romances, right? And Lizzy is one of her heroines, so she must be romantic. Right? Well, maybe. We never learn exactly what she thinks about marriage and love, but we can certainly deduce a few things.

First, she certainly doesn’t believe that it should just be a matter of “worldly advantage” (22.18). At the same time, she’s not about to marry an unreliable flirt like Wickham just because she wants to hop into bed with him. (That’s what Mr. and Mrs. Bennet did, and you can see how well that worked out.) She’d also never marry a poor man: she tells her aunt that she has come to “the mortifying conviction that handsome young men must have something to live on as well as the plain” (26.28). Typical Lizzy, she makes a joke out of it—but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s true.

So let’s see what she thinks when she realizes that she does want to marry Darcy after all:

She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her. His understanding and temper, though unlike her own, would have answered all her wishes. It was a union that must have been to the advantage of both; by her ease and liveliness, his mind might have been softened, his manners improved; and from his judgement, information, and knowledge of the world, she must have received benefit of greater importance. (50.15)

In Elizabeth’s social setting her mother would be the arbiter in matters of marriage and Elizabeth would have been raised to understand and accept it. However, she defies her mother in refusing to marry Mr. Collins and astonishes him. Given her lack of money and social connections he is unable to understand her rejection of his proposal and interprets it as insincerity. He persists, saying that all women refuse at first as a matter of coyness, and then Elizabeth puts him straight expresses herself in language that opposes gender norms. “Do not consider me now as an elegant female intending to plague you, but as a rational creature speaking the truth from her heart,” she says.

Repeating that with her rejection of Darcy, one of the richest men in England’s, first proposal, because she doesn’t like his character and finds the language of his proposal distasteful, is further evidence of her departure from gender norms.


Her relationship with Darcy is sound.  They communicate well, give each other mutual support and affection and generally are good for one another.  She has found her true partner, with whom she can live at Pemberley, her true home.    At the end of the novel, Elizabeth is the happy heroine, the center of everything.  She has not only changed herself through her newly found love for Darcy, but she equally has changed Darcy through his love for her.

Darcy’s letter opens her eyes to the truth.  He has already hinted that she only hears what she wants to hear.  She therefore makes a conscious effort to read his letter openly, and on the second reading does so, analyzing it rationally and she finally begins to notice Wickham’s inconsistencies and the lack of any real evidence of goodness on his part.  She finally realizes how ‘blind, partial, and prejudiced’ she has been.  She also realizes that she has been guilty of the same fault she accused Darcy of having – pride.  She, too, has believed herself to be superior to others, and refused to believe she could be wrong, her vanity fueled by Wickham’s attentions and offended by Darcy’s.  She realizes that ‘Till this moment, I never knew myself’.  This is a crucial moment in the novel which marks her realization of her faults and her decision to change.

Although she is still angry with Darcy, from this point on in the novel we see that she has changed and we see that she does try to see things clearly and without pride.  She admits her faults to Jane, tells Wickham she knows the truth about him, tries to work out her problems honestly and rationally, and from now on values Darcy.  It is her ability to do this which makes her the heroine of the novel.  Faced with the truth about herself, realizing she has been badly affected by both her pride and her prejudice, she accepts the fact, thinks about it and acts on her conclusions.  She has, in effect, become a mature adult.

It is worth your while trying to pinpoint the exact moment at which  Elizabeth falls in love with Darcy.  The fact that she dislikes and provokes him in the early part of the novel may well be a sign of her attraction, but Elizabeth does not admit this.  She claims to find him obnoxious and certainly has no second thoughts about refusing his first patronizing proposal.  Not until her visit to Pemberley does she appreciate Darcy’s real worth and his change of heart, and she begins then to feel more for him.  Her view of marriage also begins to change.  She knows that Darcy is correct in his assessment of her family, and Lydia’s elopement only confirms this.  The inequalities between herself and Darcy are eventually overcome, and Elizabeth betters herself by marrying Darcy.  However, she never takes advantage of this.  Seeing Pemberley marks the start of her affection for Darcy because there she begins to appreciate his real character, rather than simply his wealth.