Influence of Other Characters on the Transformation of Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice

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Influence of Other Characters on the Transformation of Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice

In "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen, readers witness the profound transformation of the protagonist. Although the drastic changes are largely due to the character's self-propelled growth, the influences of other characters play a key role in igniting the permanent metamorphoses.

This essay analyzes the two most influential characters in "Pride and Prejudice" and Elizabeth's self-realization. We are working under the presumption that two other characters serve as catalysts to boost the final changes of the protagonist.

Elizabeth's transformation and growth are greatly attributed to two other characters; namely Darcy and Wickam.
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In the beginning, Elizabeth thinks that Darcy is "the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world"(7). Given that the point of view in this work is predominantly based upon Elizabeth's observations, the descriptions of Darcy can be rendered as Elizabeth's attitude toward him. Another evidence supporting her dislike of Darcy is represented by following depiction: "He[Darcy] was at the same time haughty, reserved, and fastidious..."(11). Thus, repulsed by Darcy's detached conceit and arrogance, Elizabeth rejects his offer to dance(38). The negative impression toward Darcy is reinforced by Wickam's impartial statement about him: "for almost all his[Darcy's] actions may be traced to pride"(61). Superficially Darcy is "condemned as the worst of men"(104). The accumulated prejudices against Darcy unfailingly culminates in Elizabeth's blunt rejection to Darcy's proposal. The reason for her refusal, she argues, is his arrogance, conceit and selfish disdain of the feelings of others(145). Taken together, the overall situation strongly suggests that Elizabeth regards Darcy as "the last man in the world whom I[she] could ever be prevailed on to marry"(145).

On the other hand, Wickam is depicted as agreeable to Elizabeth. To her eyes, Wickam has "all the best part of beauty, a fine countenance, a good figure,
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